Anyone who has visited the Delaware Art Museum Store over the past two years has noticed the store’s evolution from a traditional gift shop to a vibrant community bookstore, selling a variety of books for children and adults right alongside a unique selection of gifts, stationery, work from local artists, and other ephemera. With the Museum’s temporary closure, the Museum’s retail operation was faced with an immense challenge: how does the store continue to serve the community? Fortunately, the Museum Store had recently signed up to be an affiliate with Bookshop, an online platform dedicated to supporting independent bookstores through a partnership with the American Booksellers Association. Store Supervisor Jeanie Robino was optimistic about the opportunities Bookshop provided before the Museum’s temporary closure due to the COVID-19 crisis, but she realizes this new platform has become more of a necessity than ever. “I am excited to create new shopping experiences with our members and staff and to partner with the community,” Robino says.
The Museum Store Bookshop page (https://bookshop.org/shop/delartstore) was designed to emulate the selection and personality Museum visitors have come to expect from the store. The page features much of the Museum Store’s book inventory, including art books and catalogs from recent exhibitions, literary fiction, stories of all genres Museum supporters are sure to love, and a limited selection of stationery and art supplies. You will also find some of the store’s signature items in sections such as “Witchy Wisdom,” featuring beautifully designed tarot and oracle cards, and “Local Stories,” a celebration of local authors such as Chet’la Sebree, David Teague, Marisa de los Santos, Erin Entrada Kelly, and Julianna Baggott. The Museum Store staff and store collaborators such as Rachael DiEleuterio, the Museum’s Librarian and Archivist, lend their bookish expertise and explore their unique passions through their staff lists, while those looking to tell their own stories will find guidance and tools in “Inspired by the Wilmington Writers Conference: Writing Guides and Stationery.”
The Museum Store also has placed a special focus on recent exhibitions honoring contemporary artists, including Angela Fraleigh, Julio daCunha, Margo Allman, and Helen Mason. These collections, which include books, stationery, and puzzles, were designed to allow readers to gain a deeper understanding of these artists and what drives them to create. “The thoughtful selections from the Museum Store through Bookshop give our community exciting and interesting ways to connect with the Museum’s current exhibitions,” says Curator of Contemporary Art Margaret Winslow, who curated the exhibitions featuring the aforementioned artists. “You can learn more about the artists’ styles, read books by the authors who inspire them, and find beautiful stationery to use for your own artistic musings.” Of course, you’ll also find books by and about artists in the Museum’s permanent collection, including Pre-Raphaelite artists, Howard Pyle and John Sloan.
The store is also continuing to support virtual literary endeavors at the Museum. You can find all children’s books related to family programming, including the recent run of virtual Glory of Stories events, in the Kid Lit section: https://bookshop.org/lists/kid-lit. Anyone wanting to attend Zoom meetings of the Museum’s popular book club, the DelArt Readers, can shop for the club’s books in the DelArt Readers 2020 Selections list: https://bookshop.org/lists/delart-readers-2020-selections. (For book club times and dates, go to the DelArt Readers event page: https://www.delart.org/event/delart-readers/. Contact Eliza Jarvis, the Museum’s Manager of Youth Learning and Creative Partnerships, if you would like to join a meeting: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
“We love being able to curate a selection in the store based on the art around us, the stories our staff loves, great new releases, and the many programs at the Museum,” says Jessa Mendez, Lead Museum Associate, who assists Robino with merchandising the store. “Thanks to Bookshop, we are able to continue to offer this to our community. We’re so grateful for the support we’re receiving as we navigate this strange time. I miss the store so much, but I’m so grateful Bookshop is giving us a way to connect with people.”
Head to the Delaware Art Museum Store’s Bookshop to get started: https://bookshop.org/shop/delartstore.
For book reviews, inside looks at the Museum Store Bookshop page, and more, follow the Museum Store on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/delartstore/.
For information on the Museum’s virtual programming, check out the Museum’s Online Resource Portal: https://www.delart.org/connectwithartfromhome/.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SUPPORT
This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com. The Museum Store is a member of the American Booksellers Association.
Please contact Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, at email@example.com or 302-351-8514.
ABOUT THE DELAWARE ART MUSEUM
For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Embracing all disciplines, the Museum’s Performance Series ranges from concerts by Pyxis Piano Quartet, resident ensemble of over ten years, to cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary artists committed to social justice and pushing the boundaries of artistic practice.
Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.