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Best Museum Gift Shop
Museum of American Folk Art
45 West 53rd Street
2 Lincoln Square
212-496-2966

Everyone knows about the MoMA Design Store, with its miniature designer chairs and household goods by Alessi, Aalto, and the like. But the ten-year-old shop next door to the Museum of American Folk Art succeeds in a completely different domain. Marie DiManno, the shop's buyer, scours the country to bring genuine contemporary folk art to urban sophisticates. Carved-wood sculptures from Kentucky — slim, gawky characters, from roosters to rock stars — are decorated in loud primary colors. Classic original store signs like DRINK HERE and GOOD EATS, along with Pop Art-y items like bean-can clocks, have become the shop's trendiest sellers. Shaker-style boxes go from $25 to $455. Folk-art collectors, however, may find other items a steal, and there are plenty of reasonably priced gifts. The cutesy signs are $23 to $27, and some toys cost just a dollar.
 
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