In 1946, the Walker opened the Everyday Art Gallery – an educational resource featuring changing exhibitions of well-designed products. Foreshadowing the “good design” movement of the 1950’s, it showcased the latest products of modern living, such as the revolutionary fiberglass seating of Charles and Ray Eames or finely crafted Scandinavian ceramics. Although materials and processes continue to evolve, the principles and spirit of the Everyday Art Gallery continue in the Walker Shop.
Curator of Design Andrew Blauvelt, co-curator of The Home Show (2000), an exhibition that looked back on Walker’s Idea Houses and Everyday Art Gallery of the 1940’s, believes the current Shop performs many of the same functions as the Gallery: linking visitors to the latest offerings and ideas in contemporary design. “Henry Ford once said that every object tells a story, if you know how to read it,” says Blauvelt. “Unfortunately, in a marketplace awash in homogenous goods and bland visual merchandising, products are rendered mute. Places like the Walker Shop are valuable resources to find a world of truly interesting things – objects that speak volumes about their making and whose personality and character are as distinctive as our own.”
The Walker Shop supports the mission of the Walker Art Center through the sale of merchandise from around the globe. It offers a unique assortment of award-winning contemporary home and office accessories; artisan jewelry; books about multidisciplinary contemporary art, design, and culture; creative toys; and exclusive Walker products, such as the Spoonbridge and Cherry snow dome, “Closed Monday” t-shirt, and a poster of Marc’s The Large Blue Horses. All proceeds support the Walker’s artistic and educational programs.