6 Uncommon Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

When considering tokens of affection for our Valentines, it’s easy to reach for chocolates and roses. But some of our favorite sources for Valentine’s Day gift ideas come from the road less traveled: museum gift shops. With most museum stores now offering online purchases and easy shipping options, they are a wonderful source of creative Valentine’s Day gifts to suit most any taste, but especially for design enthusiasts and art lovers. And, with many of us needing to get a bit more creative with date night ideas in the time of Covid, these clever Valentine’s Day gift ideas may help inspire a new spin on a cozy night in. Here are six Valentine’s day gifts that caught the eye of our design team this month. 

1. Conversation Menus

Conversation Menus, $39.95. Source: The ICA Store (Boston).

Wine pairings are always a lovely addition to any home-cooked meal, but this clever kit from the ICA Store in Boston opts for pairing courses with conversation instead. The collection of thoughtful prompts serve up conversation starters you may not have thought to ask your significant other before — all coursed out to perfectly complement your starter, entree or dessert. 

2. Scrabble Luxe Edition Game

Scrabble Luxe Edition Game, $200. Source: MoMA Design Store.

We’re all getting a bit more creative with date night ideas at home, and a cozy evening in with a playfully competitive round of Scrabble may just be our dream date in 2021. This luxe edition of the classic board game, available from the MoMA Design Store, is so beautifully designed so you won’t mind leaving it out on your card table even after the game has ended.

3. Salvador Dalí Tarot Cards

Salvador Dalí Tarot Card Gift Set, $60. Source: MoMA Design Store.

For the more spirited and adventurous among us, this set of Salvador Dalí-designed tarot cards, also available from the MoMA Design Store, caught our editors’ attention. Based on a 1984 limited edition, the artist designed the original concept inspired by iconic Western works from antiquity to modernity (including some of his own), Dalí seamlessly combined his affinity for 20th-century curiosities and his signature wit. If you’ve exhausted all other board games, card games and puzzles in your game room, we’re willing to wager that you haven’t tried these — just yet.

4. Scrolling Foliage Envelope Locket

Scrolling Foliage Envelope Locket, $95. Source: The Met Store.

Jewelry is a perennial favorite Valentine’s Day gift idea, but thinking a bit more outside-the-box scores extra points. This lovely Scrolling Foliage Envelope Locket, available from the Met Store in New York, is designed to hold a tiny photo or other personal keepsake. The extraordinary pendant, shaped in the form of an envelope, echoes the scrolling foliage pattern found on a luxurious piece of British blackwork embroidery featured in The Met collection (made around 1590). A Valentine’s Day gift that hearkens to a bygone age somehow feels all the more dreamy and whimsical, and has landed this lovely piece on our list of favorites.

5. Robert Indiana Mini LOVE Sculpture

Robert Indiana Mini LOVE Sculpture, $32. Source: Milwaukee Art Museum Store.

There is, perhaps, no more iconic symbol of love in art history than the work of Robert Indiana himself. For lovers of contemporary art, this tabletop token of affection — a mini reproduction of a sculpture from the artist’s body of work — is the perfect pop of color for an art lover’s shelf or home office desk. The piece is available from the Milwaukee Art Museum Store.

6. Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss Face Mask 

Face Mask, Klimt The Kiss, $14.95. Source: The Museum of Fine Arts Boston Shop.

We’re confident that when archaeologists of the distant future discover relics of the 2020 decade, they will find…facemasks. Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss is one of the most iconic works of the Art Nouveau era, and while the painting has been reproduced in a variety of ways over the years (puzzles, coffee mugs, umbrellas, etc.), we’ve not yet seen the work transformed into a 2021 wardrobe staple — until now. The mask is available through the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Shop