Tue-Thu, 10:30am-5pm; Fri, 10:30am-9pm; Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 11am-6pm; Mon, closed
6 at 33rd St.; 4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.; B, D, F, M at 42nd St.-Bryant Park
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This two-room store set off from the museum's main hall rivals the elegance of its galleries with soaring ceilings, large windows, and a simple layout. Five long tables brimming with promotional merchandise (think photo frames, magnets, and key chains) divide the white space of the first room. Tucked between the more pedestrian items are more unexpected finds: a rubber-stamp set of random French words, a horn-handle magnifying glass, or ceramic oil and vinegar cruets. Inspired displays focusing on artists (Mozart, Van Gogh), art forms (calligraphy, watercolor, pastels), and more specific topics like tea (with sachets of Tea Forte and brewing pots) are worth a look before passing into the shop's smaller, more ornate second room. Here, dark-wood panels lined in gold are punctuated by large mirrors and packed with books. Categories range from Shakespeare to fairy tales to a notable selection of “books about books,” which deal with topics like libraries and the history of writing.