Announcing the first ever WVAM holiday gift guide! The holidays are right around the corner, and WVAM is here to help you find that perfect gift. Museum stores bring you unique collections of original, handmade, and one-of-a-kind items that make meaningful gifts. This year, most museums are closed to the public or are open only in limited capacities, but their gift stores are available for online shopping. We encourage you to check out some of the online stores below, or visit your local museums in person if they’re open. Buying from cultural sites helps support the varied missions of these valuable institutions.
We focused on sites that have online shops, but there are so many more museums that have in-person shops that we encourage you to visit. Are we missing something great from an online shop? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to add to this list!
1. Hand-blown ornament from Cockayne Farmstead in Glen Dale ($20.00): Decorate your tree with this one-of-a kind Cockayne Farmstead hand-blown glass ornament! The royal blue ornament features the farmstead and its date of construction. Other unique item to check out - Cockayne family bookmarks!
2. Christmas Plaid Table Runner from Arthurdale Heritage ($60.00): A perfect addition to your Christmas decorations, this cotton table runner was woven right in Arthurdale by artisan Linda Flemmer. This one features a festive green, red, and gold plaid pattern, but there are many more handmade woven products in their shop. Flemmer is a lifelong fiber artist from Bruceton Mills, WV, who began weaving at Arthurdale after retiring from the corporate world. She also spins, knits, and keeps bees. She is a founding member of the Arthurdale Weavers.
For the History Buffs
1. Hand-Crafted Wheeling Steel Mug from Wheeling Artisan Center ($35.00): Relive the glory days of Wheeling Steel with this mug handmade by East Wheeling Clay Works featuring the Wheeling Steel logo. A well-known name in the Ohio Valley, the company employed thousands of people in its factories along the Ohio River, and its product has become quite the collectible!
2. Smilin' Sid Hatfield shirt from WV Mine Wars Museum ($28.00): This shirt was designed by Kinship Goods in Charleston in honor of the Battle of Matewan Centennial in 2020 and features the legendary “Smilin’ Sid” Hatfield screen printed in grey, white, and gold on a black t-shirt. Sid Hatfield was Matewan’s Chief of Police during the shoot out and was sympathetic to the union movement. Shortly after the Battle, the UMWA made a silent film in honor of his efforts and named it “Smilin’ Sid.”
3. Prickett's Fort Ball Cap ($20.00): This navy blue hat features an embroidered design of Prickett's Fort in Fairmont. This living history state park commemorates late 18th-century life on the frontier, and now you can too with this hat!
1. Mothman Blend Coffee from the Mothman Museum ($13.00): Support the Mothman Museum with this specialty blend roasted by the Silver Bridge Coffee Company! Locally roasted and produced in Point Pleasant, this is a rich and intense combination of two African coffees that create a bold, rich, full-bodied cup of coffee. If you love a powerful cup of coffee, this blend is for you. There are so many great Mothman items in their store, be sure to browse them all!
2. Green Bank Observatory Bottle Opener ($10.95): This aluminum bottle opener features the Green Bank telescope and was custom made on-site by the Green Bank Observatory Machine Shop. If you're looking for more space (or alien!) items, this shop is for you.
3. West Virginia Snow Sports Museum Long Sleeve T-shirt ($30.00): This t-shirt features the logo of the newly established Snow Sports Museum of West Virginia in Davis! Being a new museum, these shirts will help support their start-up costs and raise awareness about their new venture.
Frog on a Log Phone Amplifier from Parkersburg Art Center ($22.00): Now, there are plenty of great items in the PAC shop, but we love how one-of-a-kind this phone amplifier is. It's a frog, on a log, and it's handmade. Who needs a speaker when you have this?
Handcrafted Hummingbird Gourd from Huntington Museum of Art ($67.00): Huntington Museum of Art has their online shop up and running, and it's full of great pieces! We particularly loved this unique hand-carved hummingbird gourd. It would be a perfect gift for your art-loving friend! In addition to gourds, the shop also features vintage jewelry, one-of-a-kind paintings, handmade pottery, and more!
1. Weirton Steel Coloring Book from Weirton Area Museum ($10.00): This Weirton Steel: We Did It! coloring book by Diana Riggs was originally published in 1986 and celebrates Weirton Steel's transition into an employee-owned company. The pictures inside are perfect for coloring or painting and an ideal way to teach children the story of the city's early 1980s triumph. All proceeds from the sale of this coloring book benefit WAMCC's programming and collection care.
2. Limber Jack from Mountain Craft Shop Co. ($22.95): Okay, this one isn't from a museum, but it is a historical folk toy! This dancing man with a hand-painted face dances to the rhythm you choose on a paddle board. He is also called the clogger or clogging man. For a few extra bucks, you can get a little outfit for him as well. If Limber Jack isn't your guy, check out their other wooden folk toys!
3. Heritage Farm Coloring Book ($5.00): Another great coloring book for kids! This one from the Heritage Farm Museum and Village in Huntington features locations and characters that can be visited at Heritage Farms.
Happy shopping! Remember to support your small local businesses this holiday season, and please email us with additions to this guide!