Gifts for culture lovers: the best ideas and shops to buy from for art enthusiasts this Christmas

Wondering what to get your creative friends when the big day rolls around later this month?

From membership to the Royal Academy or Lambeth Palace’s Garden Museum, to a custom-made board game or ceramics that tell a story, here are the best gifts you can give your artistic friends this Christmas.

The Gallery of Everything 


Light of the Soul: one of Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn’s striking prints

Look for a red-and-white barber shop sign to find brilliantly named The Gallery of Everything in Chiltern Street, Marylebone.

With prices from £500 to £35,000 and an ever-changing roster of exhibitions beyond the cultural mainstream, it has prints, drawings and sculptures for every taste and budget.

Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn’s striking prints, such as Light of the Soul, produced between 1927 and 1934, were based on the artist’s search for sacred and spiritual imagery, and will intrigue anyone looking for more meaning in their art.

The gift of art

If you enjoy this column you might like the online videos at London Art Studies, of which I am founder.

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve just won the People’s Choice for Art in the Lovie Awards, which honour the best of the European internet.

London Art Studies, like Netflix for art lovers, is also for those who want to understand a bit more about art.

Membership is £8.99 a month or £88 a year.

Art at Auction

Eames Fine Art in Bermondsey is currently holding its Christmas “silent, secret auction”.

Bid online for prints and lithographs, including by Chagall, Matisse and Moore, or in person at the drinks party tonight, from 6pm.

Any works in the sale that don’t sell by the end of tonight stay on show at the reserve price, giving a second opportunity to bag a bargain piece of art.

One year, someone bid for and won a Matisse lithograph for £30. Hurry over now, or visit online.

Royal Academy

The Royal Academy is set for a banner year, with Picasso prints, performance artist Marina Abramovic and Gauguin and the Impressionists.

Why not gift the art lover in your life RA membership, which includes access to the garden and bar in The Keeper’s House? Become a Friend for £128.

The gift shop has legendary Academician Norman Foster’s stainless-steel tableware, such as this carafe, £95, and, for four to seven year-olds, the book Yves Klein Painted Everything Blue and Wasn’t Sorry.

Fausto Gilberto’s illustrations bring it to life.

Never bored with games

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a board game or two — and these are rather special.

One of British designer Alexandra Llewellyn’s luxurious custom-made backgammon sets, will make the perfect present if you are staying with art-loving friends and are unsure what to bring along.

Llewellyn also accepts commissions to personalise her board games and tables.

From £1,400 for a travel set.

Garden museum

TV’s Alan Titchmarsh calls the Garden Museum at Lambeth Palace on the south bank the “spiritual home of gardening”.

It opened in 1977 in the grounds of deconsecrated St Mary-at-Lambeth Church, which housed the tomb of John Tradescant the Elder (1570- 1638), Britain’s first great gardener and plant hunter.

A fantastic season of talks and masterclasses is coming up, focusing on sustainability and the healing power of plants.


The Garden Museum is, according to Alan Titchmarsh, the “spiritual home of gardening”

Don’t miss Tiny Garden Design, or Italian cookery writer Ursula Ferrigno’s class on cooking with oranges and lemons, also available as a one-off gift.

Membership from £36.

‘Long may we live’

I’m buying this terracotta dish, made by 1690 Ceramics.

Artist Sophie Wilson says she wants to produce works that tell a story, and was inspired by English delftware’s poetry and prose.

The words on this plate come from an 18th-century child’s creamware mug.

Wilson’s dish, £180, includes a fig, symbol of peace, abundance and enlightenment.

Pieces by 1690 Ceramics are available at


£180: this terracotta dish which includes a fig, a symbol of peace, abundance and enlightenment

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