FAITH RINGGOLD COLLABORATED with Vans and the Museum of Modern Art. The estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat partnered with Coach and Derrick Adams joined forces with a swimsuit brand. Considering an art-inspired gift? This year, highly acclaimed Black artists have made their work more accessible to wider audiences in the form of products such as shoes, T-shirts, water bottles, blankets, designer handbags, and more. Museums have produced objects based on artworks in their collections; Many created to coincide with exhibitions.

Proceeds from some projects benefit nonprofits and social justices causes. Sales of a merino wool blanket inspired by Lorna Simpson’s large-scale paintings, for example, support the Studio Museum in Harlem. A limited-edition plate by Charles Gaines was produced to raise funds for the Coalition for the Homeless. A handbag featuring a painting by late artist Noah Davis benefits The Underground Museum in Los Angeles, which he co-founded.

Culture Type’s 2020 gift guide offers a diverse selection of 30 items ideal for anyone who loves art. Price points vary widely—about $10 for a magnet or postcard set; less than $50 for recently published art books; and a few hundred for artist-inspired fashion. At the high end, at costs rivaling original artworks, five figures will buy a hand-knotted Mickalene Thomas rug or gold jewelry based on Rashid Johnson’s Anxious Men series. Meanwhile, Willie Cole has produced a collection of products that shares a simple, yet profound message: Black Art Matters. Happy Holidays!


© Lorna Simpson. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Lorna Simpson Pocket Square | Hauser & Wirth Gallery, $95

Silk/cotton pocket square showcases “Head on Ice 2” (2016) by Lorna Simpson. Hauser & Wirth gallery is offering a number of other products—silk scarves, modal foulards, and cashmere throws—featuring Simpson’s glacial paintings and collage works inspired by vintage portraits from Ebony and Jet magazines. The collection was introduced earlier this year. A merino wool blanket is also available with the proceeds benefitting the Studio Museum in Harlem, in honor of Thelma Golden’s 20-year tenure leading the institution. The gallery also produced a collection of pocket squares and scarves based on paintings by Jack Whitten in 2018.


Noah Davis Monograph | Amazon, $49.83

Edited by Helen Molesworth, “Noah Davis” provides a critical record of the artist’s practice, which focused on figurative scenes rife with emotion and a degree of magical realism. The volume was published to complement his exhibition at David Zwirner gallery in New York (Jan. 16-Feb. 22, 2020), which is forthcoming at The Underground Museum in Los Angeles. Davis, who died at age 32 in 2015, co-founded the museum.


Image Courtesy MZ Wallace

Noah Davis Medium Metro Tote | MZ Wallace, $265

Limited-edition MZ Wallace x The Underground Museum quilted nylon with leather trim tote features Untitled (2015) by Noah Davis (1983-2015). 100 percent of the net proceeds benefit The Underground Museum in Los Angeles, which was co-founded by Davis. This collaboration follows similar Metro tote projects with Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, and Duro Olowu. A small black quilted nylon Metro pouch is also available featuring the The Underground Museum’s crest.


© Charles Gaines. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Charles Gaines Plate | Artware Editions, $175

Benefitting the Coalition for the Homeless, fine bone china plates based on works by 49 artists were released Nov. 16. Each plate design is offered in a limited edition of 175. Within hours, plates by Nina Chanel Abney, Rashid Johnson, and Derrick Adams were gone. Selections by Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, and Glenn Ligon soon sold out, too. This plate, featuring a detail from “Numbers and Trees: Palm Canyon, Palm Trees Series 2, Tree #3, Lusieno (2019) by Charles Gaines, was still available at the time of publication.


Image Courtesy Wales Bonner

Frank Bowling Swan I Collarless Shirt | Grace Wales Bonner, £495

Collarless soft poplin shirt (100 percent cotton). From Black British designer Grace Wales Bonner, an homage to artist Frank Bowling inspired by his 1964 painting “Swan 1.” According to Wales Bonner, “the swans act as a metaphor for the urge towards freedom.”


Image Courtesy Tate Shop

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Tote Bag | Tate Shop, £15

100 percent organic cotton tote bag features a detail from “Penny For Them” (2014) by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. The tote was produced to coincide with “Fly In League With The Night,” the artist’s largest-ever survey exhibition at Tate Britain in London (Dec. 2, 2020-May 9, 2021), which is accompanied by a new exhibition catalog.


Tyler Mitchell Monograph | Amazon, $36.27

“I Can Make You Feel Good: Tyler Mitchell” is the first monograph of photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell, the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of American Vogue (featuring Beyoncé in September 2018).
The volume accompanies his first U.S. solo exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York. Mitchell’s work is also featured in “The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion” and also graces the cover of the book.


Image Courtesy MoMA Shop

Alma Woodsey Thomas Scarf | MoMA Store, $60

Polyester scarf design is based on Untitled (1968), an abstract painting by Alma Woodsey Thomas, which is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Image Courtesy NMWA Shop

Alma Thomas Note Cube, National Museum of Women in the Arts Shop, $5

Inspired by the work of abstract artist Alma Thomas (1891-1978), Post-it style note cube features approximately 760 self-stick sheets. Design is based on “Orion” (1973), a painting by Thomas in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.


Detail of BISA BUTLER, “The Safety Patrol” (2018). | © Bisa Butler, Courtesy the artist and Claire Oliver Gallery

Bisa Butler Postcard Set | Art Institute of Chicago Shop, $9.95

Set of eight full-color postcards produced to accompany “Bisa Butler: Portraits” at the Art Institute of Chicago (Nov. 16, 2020-April 19, 2021). The textile artist’s first solo museum exhibition is co-organized with the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, N.Y. Images of “A Man’s Worth,” “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Kindred,” “The Princess,” “Broom Jumpers,” “Les Sapeurs,” “Southside Sunday Morning,” and “The Safety Patrol,” which was acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago last year, are included in the set.


® Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy Corkcicle

Jean-Michel Basquiat Canteen | Corkcicle, $29.97

Partnering with the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Corkcicle’s canteen showcases the artist’s bold expression and iconic crown motif. The Basquiat collection includes triple-insulated canteens and tumblers.


® Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy Coach

Jean-Michel Basquiat Rogue 25 Handbag | Coach, $795

Coach X Jean-Michel Basquiat Rogue 25 leather and suede handbag pays tribute to the visionary New York artist. Part of a special Basquiat collection developed with the artist’s estate that includes many more handbags, as well as T-shirts, hoodies, scarves, and more. There was also a trench coat that sold out almost immediately.


Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph | Aperture, $35.75

Long-awaited, fully illustrated monograph surveys four decades of photographer Ming Smith’s career. Her singular vision is lyrical and poetic. Her work ranges from documentary to hand-painted images. One of her key signatures is a blurring technique. Smith’s work is also featured in the recently published exhibition catalog, “Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop.”


© Nari Ward. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery

Nari Ward T-Shirt | Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, $30

T-Shirt features an image of “Power Wall – Power People” (2019) by Nari Ward, a wall installation composed of shoe laces. “Nari Ward: We The People” was on view at MCA Denver (July 1-Sept. 20, 2020) earlier this year.


@ Hank Willis Thomas, Image Courtesy Drywall Design Store

Hank Willis Thomas “I Am. Amen.” T-Shirt | Drywall Design Store, $25

About the phrase on this T-shirt, “I Am. Amen.,” Hank Willis Thomas has said: “The greatest revelation should be that we are.” The design was inspired by the artist’s “I Am a Man” series, which references signs held be Black men during the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike. Thomas produced several other items with Drywall, including additional T-shirts, and hoodies, skateboard decks, postcards, and mugs.


© Mickalene Thomas. Courtesy Henzel Studio

Mickalene Thomas Rug, Artspace, $16,500

A hand-knotted rug, “Racquel Come to Me” (2019) is based on a painting by Mickalene Thomas in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The rug is a limited edition of 10. This is the second rug Thomas has designed with Henzel. (The first was “Candy Crush.”) The company has also produced a rug with Sanford Biggers.


Image Courtesy MCA Chicago Store

MZ Wallace x Duro Olowu Metro Tote | MCA Chicago Store, $235

Limited-edition quilted nylon with leather trim tote by MZ Wallace features custom print by fashion designer Duro Olowu. The tote was produced to coincide with the exhibition “Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago” at the MCA Chicago (Feb 29–Sept. 13, 2020), curated by Olowu. 100 percent of the net proceeds benefit MCA Chicago’s educational programs. Several additional museum products produced in collaboration Olowu accompany the exhibition, including trays, placemats, cutting boards, coasters, notebooks, and notecards.


Images Courtesy Kemper Museum Shop

Amy Sherald and Barbara Chase-Riboud Magnets | Kemper Museum Shop, $8 each

Acrylic magnets feature “Try on dreams until I find the one that fits me. They all fit me.” (2017), a painting by Amy Sherald and Barbara Chase-Riboud’s sculpture “Malcolm X #13” (2008). Both works are represented in the collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo.


Barkley L. Hendricks: Basketball | Amazon, $25

Jack Shainman Gallery and Skira are publishing a five-volume overview of Barkley L. Hendricks, who is best known for his 1960s and 70s portraits. The posthumous collection began with works on paper and the second installment considers his landscape paintings. The third volume focuses on his series of basketball paintings. Forthcoming publications explore his photography and provide a 300-page overview of his practice.


© Dindga McCannon. Courtesy the artist and Fridman Gallery

Dindga McCannon Scarf | Brooklyn Museum, $36

Dindga McCannon is a founding member of Where We At, Black Women Artists Inc. The design of this synthetic scarf is based on a 1975 portrait McCannon made of fellow Where We At artist Akweke Singho (“Empress Akweke”). The painting is in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum.


© 2020 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York

Faith Ringgold Vans Era Sneakers | MoMA Store, $90

The Museum of Modern Art x Vans collaboration showcases the work of several artists, including Faith Ringgold. This pair of Era lace-up sneakers features two different feminist posters by Ringgold: “Women Free Yourself” (1971) and “Freedom Woman Now” (1971). Both are represented in the MoMA’s collection. The project also includes classic slip-on Vans, a long-sleeve t-shirt, and a reversible bucket hat.


© Derrick Adams. Image Courtesy Vilebrequin

Derrick Adams Swim Trunks | Vilebrequin, $295

Vilebrequin x Derrick Adams limited-edition swim trunks feature figures from the artist’s Floaters series, vibrantly colored works that depict Black people lounging in pools on floats. Adams has described the representation of Black joy and Black leisure “as a form of radicalness or revolutionary.” A tote bag is also available. As a part of the collaboration, Vilebrequin is donating $20,000 to the Eubie Blake Cultural Center in Baltimore, the artist’s hometown. In 2019, Vilebrequin collaborated with Virgil Abloh’s Off White label on a collection of swimsuits.


© Rashid Johnson. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Rashid Johnson ‘Anxious Men’ Gold Cuff | Hauser & Wirth Gallery, $18,500

Limited edition of 15, made-to-order 9kt gold cuff with red enamel and five rubies. Inspired by his Anxious Men series, Rashid Johnson collaborated with Liz Swig of LizWorks on a line of limited-edition jewelry that features gold and titanium cuffs, signet rings, ring bands, and necklaces with military dog tag-style pendants with ruby accents. Johnson’s Anxious Men works employ a repeated motif in which “deceptively crude archetypal faces express fundamental tensions and traumas that course through contemporary life” and have intensified in recent months in the face of the pandemic and nationwide calls for racial justice. Sales from the collection support Prep for Prep and the Black Mental Health Alliance.


Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists | Amazon, $49.95

“Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art” explores the holdings of New York collectors Bernard I. Lumpkin and Carmine D. Boccuzzi and features a conversation with Lumpkin conducted by Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem. (Lumpkin is a member of the museum’s board.) The fully illustrated volume is edited by Antwaun Sargent, who published “The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion” last year.


© Shantell Martin. Photo by Jens Mortensen

Shantell Martin Blanket | Whitney Museum Shop, $220

Employing line as language, Shantell Martin’s drawings explore the politics and joy of humanity and identity. Her new collection with the Whitney Museum of American Art includes a two-sided cotton blanket featuring a pair of text-based artworks stating “Who Are You” and “You Are You.” The blanket was made with EVERYBODY.WORLD, a Los Angeles-area ethical manufacturer. Martin recently published her first monograph.


Image Courtesy NMWA Shop

Mildred Thompson Magnetic Fields Mug | National Museum of Women in the Arts Shop, $15

Paying homage to abstract artist Mildred Thompson (1936-2003), mug features her 1990 painting “Magnetic Fields.” The title references the individual work, a series of paintings Thompson undertook in the early 1990s, and a traveling exhibition organized by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo. “Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today” included works by 21 Black women artists, including Thompson, and was presented at NMWA in 2017-18. Thompson’s painting is in the NMWA collection and covers the exhibition catalog.


© Pyer Moss

Richard Phillips T-Shirt Dress | Pyer Moss, $350

From Pyer Moss, the Black-owned label founded by Kerby Jean-Raymond, an oversized scuba T-shirt dress featuring “Sister Rosetta at the Train Station” by Richard Phillips, 74. The artist’s work appears on additional Collection 3 items, including more dresses, boots (a collaboration with Brother Vellies), as well as menswear. Phillips immersed himself in painting while serving time. It helped to occupy his mind, allowing him to escape for hours. Wrongfully convicted, the Detroit artist spent 46 years in prison before he was released in 2017 and exonerated in 2018. More about Phillips


© Pyer Moss

Jamilla Okubo – Sister Rosetta Tharpe Sweatshirt | Pyer Moss, $350

Cropped hooded sweatshirt (100 percent cotton) paying homage to Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973), who is known as the “original soul sister” and “godmother of rock and roll.” Artist Jamilla Okubo was commissioned to create the images of Tharpe, which appear on Collection 3 tops and jogger pants from Pyer Moss, the Black-owned label founded by Kerby Jean-Raymond.


Kimberly Drew: This Is What I Know About Art | Bookshop, $8.99

Pocket Change Collective has created a series of books by artists and activists that explores big ideas. In “This Is What I Know About Art,” writer and curator Kimberly Drew shares her personal journey and explains how she found her voice and a path for creating change through art. Drew is also the co-editor of the forthcoming book, “Black Futures.”


Products © Willie Cole

Willie Cole Black Art Matters Merchandise | Museum Nerd, Prices Vary

When artist Willie Cole introduced his Black Art Matters project he said “it’s hard to say Black Lives Matter without recognizing the value of graphic representation. After all, a people’s art is a record of a people’s existence. This is why Black Art Matters.” The phrase is featured on T-shirts, mugs, tote bags, iPhone cases, face masks, water bottles, and more. 10 percent of sales proceeds are donated to Wells Bring Hope, which focuses on saving lives in Niger with safe water. CT


Editor’s Note: Gift guide selections are subject to availability and described per each vendor’s summary. Stated prices reflect pricing at the time of publication. Products at various museums may be available at discounted prices for members.


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