Mag­nif­i­cent Me­men­tos

Solveig Steinhardt spent her Sun­day shop­ping for sou­venir ob­jets d'art in the city’s best mu­seum gift shops.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Take home more than just mem­o­ries at Ber­lin's best mu­seum gift shops. BY SOLVEIG STEINHARDT

Some­times an ex­hibit arouses the de­sire to take home more than just mem­o­ries, which is one rea­son so many visi­tors en­joy brows­ing the gift shop. Another rea­son to love mu­seum bou­tiques: Most are open on Sun­day, giv­ing shopa­holics a chance to in­dulge in their fa­vorite pas­time on the day when the rest of the city's stores are dark.

Be­cause of Ber­lin's mul­ti­tude of mu­se­ums (more than 170), there's quite an ar­ray of shops to choose from. We've nar­rowed down the list to our fa­vorites: The large bookshop in­side Martin

Gropius-Bau (p. 42) has ceil­ing-high shelves car­ry­ing a wide range of books, art man­u­als, and pho­tog­ra­phy vol­umes both re­lated and un­re­lated to the chang­ing ex­hi­bi­tions. There's also a well-stocked kids' room with toys and literature, and a unique se­lec­tion of Ger­man sta­tionery. The Ce­don gift shop in­side the Jewish

Mu­seum (p. 41) stocks an ex­ten­sive range of Ju­daica, in­clud­ing literature about Jews and Ber­lin, klezmer CDs, meno­rahs, jew­elry, and even hu­mor­ous ob­jects, such as dis­pos­able “100% kosher” nap­kins.

Lovers of pho­tog­ra­phy will find their habi­tat in the shop of C/O Ber­lin (p. 44), which has a wide va­ri­ety of pho­tog­ra­phy books and re­pro­duc­tions, as well as orig­i­nal prints by fa­mous pho­tog­ra­phers, which will set you back a lit­tle more than that re­pro post­card you were eye­ing.

Per­haps the quirki­est gift shop of all Ber­lin's mu­se­ums is the one in­side me Col­lec­tors Room (p. 45). En­tirely inspired

by the mu­seum's Wun­derkam­mer, the shop fea­tures off­beat dé­cor, such as a stuffed gi­raffe, and sells mounted in­sects, skele­ton erasers, ex­otic seashells, botan­i­cal prints, and a cor­nu­copia of other cu­riosi­ties.

For a dip in Ber­lin's Cold War past, en­ter the gift shop of the DDR Mu­seum (p. 41), where you can buy re­pro­duc­tions of post­cards from the di­vided city, maps of East and West Ber­lin, and the pop­u­lar Tra­bant toy car with pull­back mech­a­nism, which even adults love tak­ing home as a sou­venir.

For more de­sign and fab­u­lous posters from the 1920s, head to the Bauhaus

Archiv (p. 41). The ex­hi­bi­tions are usu­ally aimed at an au­di­ence of scholars and stu­dents, but the shop con­tains de­sign ob­jects and im­ages – from the glo­ri­ous but short Ger­man Bauhaus pe­riod – that will look good in any home. If it's kids you're shop­ping for, hit the

Deutsches Tech­nikmu­seum (Mu­seum of Tech­nol­ogy, p. 38), where you'll be able to choose be­tween di­nosaur-shaped pa­per air­planes, model trains, and many books, while the big­ger gift shop in­side the Mu­seum für Naturkunde (Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral History, p. 38) has all kinds of sci­en­tific toys and books for the lit­tle ones, with a spe­cial em­pha­sis on di­nosaurs, as well as bird-sound CDs for fans of our feathered friends. Or head down to Pots­dam to the Biosphäre trop­i­cal bio­sphere (p. 38). Af­ter a walk in the jun­gle and a mango smoothie at the (in­door) lakeside café, you might feel the need to shop for trop­i­cal seeds and pods to dec­o­rate your walls and fill your pot­pourri bowls.

A taxi­der­mied al­ba­tross, He­brew and Yid­dish mag­nets, the pop­u­lar pull-back toy Tra­bant, the gift shop at Biosphäre Pots­dam.

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