Museum merchandises masses of Monet material


October 13, 1991|By Linda Lowe Morris

The Baltimore Museum of Art is hoping you'll want to take Monet home with you. Or give Monet as a Christmas gift. Or have a little Monet hanging around the office.

In conjunction with its newest exhibition, "Claude Monet; Impressionist Masterpieces from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston," which opens today and runs through Jan. 19, 1992, the museum has opened a second gift shop devoted just to Monet reproductions, books on Monet and things with a Monet motif.

Museum shop manager Steven Rostkowski has been haunting the gift shows and canvassing gift suppliers for Monet items for over a year and his search was wildly successful:

There are 26 different books on Monet, 15 Monet posters, 12 Monet calendars, nine assortments of boxed Monet stationery, nine Monet puzzles, six Monet T-shirts, Monet engagement calendars large and small, a Monet tote bag, Monet mugs, Monet bookmarks, Monet postcard books, Monet bridge sets, Monet picture frames, Monet blank books, Monet desk accessories, Monet portfolios, Monet decorative boxes, Monet shopping bags, Monet videotapes, Monet flower seeds, perfume inspired by Monet gardens -- and to wrap it all up, Monet gift wrap.

"Even under normal circumstances, Monet reproductions are the most popular of all the posters we sell and the books on Monet are the most popular of the books. So, given the popularity that we knew existed, I wasn't surprised to find lots of merchandise," says Mr. Rostkowski, who has been manager of the main museum shop for more than 10 years.

"We wanted to stick as much as possible with the paper products -- the straight reproduction kind of thing. So we bypassed beach towels, bed linens, mobiles, ties and lots of bad reproductions."

The shop has almost every book on Monet that is in print, including a cookbook, "Monet's Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet," and a childrens book, "Linnea in Monet's Garden," with a separate Linnea doll available.

The shop is located so that visitors to the Monet exhibition will exit by walking through the shop, which was decorated to give the feel -- somewhat -- of Monet's house and garden at Giverny. One entire wall has been made to resemble the facade of the house, complete with green wooden shutters and lace at the windows. To one side a table is set with reproductions of the china that Monet used at Giverny -- also for sale.

Because the Monet shop is accessible only to those who have toured the exhibit, there will also be Monet items in the main museum shop, which is located at the entrance of the museum, near the cafe. Visitors do not have to pay museum admission to enter this shop.

"We'll have a representation of everything that's here also in our shop downstairs because a lot of folks come to the museum just to shop, especially around Christmas time," Mr. Rostkowski adds.

The museum's hours have been changed for the Monet exhibition. During this time they will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Parking and shuttle buses will be available at 33rd Street and Ellerslie Avenue, across from Memorial Stadium. For more information call 396-7100. The telephone number of the main museum shop is 396-7338.

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