Mixing Class and Cash

Shoppers snap up museum-store gifts all year round

Not all of New York City's holiday shoppers could be found last week at department-store sales. Thousands of people were snapping up presents at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's gift shops. Calvin and Sharon Petersen of Mantua, Utah, bought build-it-yourself paper medieval towns (price: $6.95). Cathy Smith of Medford, Ore., bought a framed print of Nathaniel Currier's lithograph The Favorite Cat ($38). For his mother, Steven Prince, a Los Angeles businessman, selected a shawl imprinted with the tree of life ($25). Says Prince: "Museums sell items of quality. They bring art to the people."

Museum-store sales are booming. This year the...

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