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Do Your Holiday Shopping at an Art Museum: 10 Great Gifts Under $50

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Screw the mall. Hit the museum. Museum memberships and the unique, eclectic items for sale in the museum store make great gifts for anyone who appreciates art or design. And everyone else as well.

ONE-YEAR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP TO THE HMNS - $45 (SALE!) An individual membership includes unlimited free admission to all permanent exhibit halls and permanent exhibitions at the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Museum District and new Sugar Land locations, a subscription to the bi-monthly magazine, and (our personal favorite) access to members-only previews and events. HMNS goes all out for their events and it's nice to preview big exhibits without the crowds. Members also enjoy special discounts on tickets to all HMNS venues, classes, lectures, and other educational programs. If the person on your list is a student or a senior you're in luck. Membership is only $30.

Nine more great gift ideas after the jump.

ONE-YEAR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP TO THE MFAH - $50 Members of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston enjoy free general admission to exhibits, museum lectures, and programs for adults as well as discounted admission at Bayou Bend, Rienzi, MFAH Films, and savings at the MFAH store.

In addition, members receive invites to exhibition preview parties and the annual fall members' party and a complimentary subscription to the MFAH News e-newsletter and the bimonthly MFAH Calendar. For additional information call 713-639-7550 or e-mail membership@mfah.org

HAND BLOWN GLASS ORBS (MFAH) - $32 These one-of-a-kind hand blown glass orbs from Houston Studio Glass are great for the tree or a sunny window

SOFT HUB USB (MoMA) - $25 Techies and students will love this rubber USB 2.0 hub. Connect cameras, network adapters, modems, and joysticks to your desktop or notebook computer--all at once. Windows- and Mac-compatible. 3" Diameter

SKY UMBRELLA (MoMA) - $48 No matter what the weather, it's always bright and cheery under this umbrella. Black nylon exterior; wood shaft and handle. A collapsible version is also available for $35.

JUMPING POINT CALENDAR (MoMA) - $39.95 Michael Domberger (2011) - A colorful way to mark the passage of time. Check off the days or mark special occasions by punching out each day's individual dot.

RECYCLED PLANET "THICK BRACELET" (MFAH) - $34 Made entirely of reused magazines and discarded maps.

TIM BURTON PLAYING CARDS (MoMA) - $5 Selected to accompany his major career retrospective at the MoMA, this set of 52 playing cards is illustrated with the strange inhabitants of Tim Burton's twisted imagination. Great for kids, movie buffs.

DOUBLE RAINBOW MAKER (MoMA) - $35 David Dear (2003) - Attach this little solar powered gadget to a sunny window (suction cup included) and watch as the solar-powered motor rotates two genuine Swarovski crystals to produce beautiful rainbow displays around a room. Recommended for children 8 and up, and adults of all ages.

GENE DAVIS TIE "THE BLACK GREY BEAT" (MFAH) - $48 Inspired by Gene Davis´ "Black Grey Beat" (1964), currently owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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