19 Giftable Works of Art

by Maxwell Tielman


Buying gifts can be one of the more nerve-racking things about the holidays. In addition to watching your pocketbook become increasingly empty, the risk of spiraling into a What-To-Buy?? state of panic and indecision is always high. However, before you stand in line at the department store obsessing over whether your aunt needs a new sweater or a dutch oven, consider that the answer to gift-giving enlightenment might be taking need out of the equation entirely. Art—whether it be a painting, a print, a textile, or a sculptural objet d’art—is the one thing that nobody needs but everybody could use. While not necessarily as traditionally functional as the coffee grinder you were considering for your sister, a beautiful painting might be just the thing to brighten up her home and her life for years to come. You may not know if your friend already has an iPad case that they like, but you know what they probably don’t already have? An awesome, custom-printed pennant with their hometown on it! Indeed, even though its function is more or less intangible, art can be one of the best gifts to give. It’s something that people typically don’t buy for themselves and something that is sure to inspire and delight. Here are a few of our favorite works of art for holiday gifting! —Max

Rifle Paper Co's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" print is sure to brighten up any room (and mood) that it meets!
In addition to amazingly retro-licious pennants for some of America's top cities, Buffalo's Oxford Pennant offers custom-printing for anything you want to represent!
Leah Goren's hand-painted 3D Girl vase.
Hammerpress' Silver Moon print, printed on heavy-duty recycled chipboard.
Designer Elizabeth Grubaugh's work is both nostalgically throwback and refreshingly modern. I especially love her eye-poppingly colorful prints like this one.
An assemblage of disparate bits of ephemera creates a beautiful image in Emily Rickard's "Hunter Gatherer" print.
This geometric print by Margins Imprint uses a nineteenth century photo printing technique to create an image that is both mass-producable and one-of-a-kind.
This top-like art object called "Tipsy" is constructed from maple and brass and is great to look at and play with!
We've been seeing artist Jordan Awan's work everywhere recently (especially in Ramona, one of our new favorite Greenpoint haunts). This print is available in his Society6 shop.
I've been completely obsessed with painter Jeremy Miranda's "portraits" of icebergs for several years. His Etsy store now offers archival-quality prints of some select works.
I just love the understated beauty of Malissa Ryder's watercolor paintings.
This Mountain Blossom art scarf from Link Collective can be worn or hung on your wall.
This tiny brass bat skull from Sparrow is beautiful and just the right amount of creepy, perfect for displaying on a desk or coffee table.
Fine Little Day's "Eye Eye" poster.
Fort Maker's Small Apple Mobile.
Painter Britt Bass Turner's work is perfect for injecting a jolt of color into any room.
Three Potato Four offers a number of vintage painting reproductions like this beauty, printed on Belgian linen.
Lastly, who can resist this wonderful nugget of wisdom from Holstee?

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  • Love them, specially the one with ‘don’t worry be happy’ That’s something that makes you really happy :)

  • The website redesign is lovely to look at, but it is so unfortunate that there are now articles like this where you have to click through 19 different times to view. That is just a real pain and means that I’m going to be looking at a lot less of the website’s content.

    • Anna

      I’m sorry you feel that way. Typically we lump some of these pieces together (in collage images) so they’re not quite so long, so we’ll make sure going forward that product guides are limited to fewer slides.


  • I’m not sure if it is a glitch with the display of the new redesign but now I only can view captions for first image in the slideshows, in every single slideshow (I’m using Safari on a MacBook). It is frustrating as a reader because now I can’t find information about any of the items featured or click through to the individual artist websites to learn more about their work. Is this a choice in the redesign or a technical issue?

    • Hi S.

      I’m 100% sure that’s a glitch. Can you tell me what browser and version you’re using to view the site? And are you on a desktop, laptop (Mac or PC) or is this mobile?

      You should be able to click through slideshows and see a caption on the left side for every slide.


  • I love the idea of art as a gift – however it’s so distinct to each person it can be a tough call. I asked for a few Leah Duncan prints for the holidays and just received them in the mail. Can’t wait to open them and get them situated in my apartment!

  • Fantastic roundup–I’ll take one of each! Thank you for exposing me to work I wouldn’t otherwise see. On another note, I was considering just HOW MUCH I love your redesign. 19 slides is a lot, granted, but they load quickly, and each one has a description (rather than matching up numbers and pictures). I didn’t want to like the new look–change is hard, and I loved the dark, moody vibe of the old site. I find now that I’ve lived with this for a bit, I really like it a lot better. I find myself clicking through much more often.

  • This list is to die for – I love everything especially the scarf from Link Collective. I’ve admired their works for a long time and it’s a brilliant idea you have to hang the scarf on the wall as a piece of art! Like some people, I do find the new design layout a little hard to navigate. I love how you had the big images in the post, they had a lot of impact. The slideshow now saves the space but I find it a little uneasy when the different sizes of each image in the slides make the page jumpy (not sure is it makes sense?) And when I want to come back to the first picture, it takes a while to go through 18 clicks. Maybe you have seen it but recently The Design Files changed their website design too, from full picture posts to a slide-show style. Their slide is easy to go through because the pictures are formatted to be the same size and it sort of scrolls horizontally. You can still see captions too.
    But I have to say I love the new up-lifting mood of the new site though Grace!

  • my comment is about the redesign.
    when I click though the slideshows I always have to move my mouse
    because the arrows are not registered. small thing but I have not experienced this problem on other sites. I am viewing this on a 27″ mac monitor via Firefox.

    • Hi, Patricia! We’re working on some work-arounds for the arrows at the moment, but for the time being, you can also navigate the slideshows without a mouse by using the left and right arrows on your keyboard!

  • Thank you for responding, Grace. I don’t see any captions after the first slide when I view the website on my MacBook Pro laptop using Safari. I am viewing it now using Chrome on a Toshiba laptop at work and I can see the captions. I appreciate your response!

  • Ahhh omg love the Don’t Worry Be Happy print…so cute and vibrant. Reminds me of the print I got my mom from Papirmass last year, really similar style and super cute. Really like the idea of gifting art in general.