The Best Gifts to Give to the Art Lover in Your Life

This holiday season consider our selection of books and trinkets for the creative type

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Copyright 2013 Todd McLellan. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson

Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living

(Copyright 2013 Todd McLellan. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson)

$29.95

Todd McLellan has a funny way of showing his adulation for the design of everyday objects. In his latest book Things Come Apart, the Canadian photographer dissects 50 consumer products, including an iPod, a Swiss Army knife and a Homelite chainsaw. He then presents them in two formats, one a neat, organized arrangement of all the object’s pieces and the other a chaotic shot of them tossed up in the air. The series will make you think twice about that weathered Raleigh bike, made from 893 parts, in your garage.

Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living

Suggested by Megan Gambino, staff writer

Yoga: The Art of Transformation

None
(Smithsonianstore.com)

$55

There’s a lot more to yoga than Lululemon and chai tea lattes. Enlighten the yogi on your list with Yoga: The Art of Transformation, featuring artworks from the Sackler Gallery’s pioneering exhibition of yogic art. The book’s 250 paintings, sculptures, photographs and illustrations cover more than 2,000 years in the history of yoga, charting its evolution as a spiritual and physical practice in India and around the world.

Yoga: The Art of Transformation

Suggested by Beth Py-Lieberman, museums editor

Kinetic Sand

None
(Wabafun.com)

$15

Forget Silly Putty. Kinetic Sand, made in Sweden, is a funky three-dimensional medium to play with while musing at your desk. The material looks like sand scooped from the beach, and yet its website claims it has a “secret binding agent” that keeps the grains together. The amateur artist can meld Kinetic Sand into castles and other sculptures.

Kinetic Sand

Suggested by Megan Gambino

The Best American Infographics 2013

None
(GarethCook.net)

$20

If you’re anything like us, you’ll geek out over this compendium of the most brilliant data visualizations created this past year. As Co.design put it, The Best American Infographics “offers 165 pages of dry facts and figures transformed into eye candy.” What are the most common birthdays? When are different fruits in season? And, where have tornadoes traveled in the last half century? See for yourself in this book of elegant graphics, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gareth Cook.

The Best American Infographics 2013

Suggested by Megan Gambino

Image3D, a Custom View-Master

None
(Image3d.com)

$29.95

For the hipster on your list, with a fondness for everything retro, consider a customized Image3D View-Master. Just upload seven photographs—from a shared vacation or special occasion—on Image3D’s website. Add captions to the images, and the company will mail you a reel, fit for either its new View-Master or the original toy.

Image3D, a Custom View-Master

Suggested by Megan Gambino

Bugs: A Stunning Pop-Up Look at Insects, Spiders, and Other Creepy-Crawlies

None
(Amazon.com)

$19.95

Foster a love of both art and science in a child with this pop-up book geared for ages 7 and up. Illustrator Jim Kay and entomologist George McGavin partnered to create this fact-filled encyclopedia of arthropods. Kay’s watercolors of a wasp’s nest and a cockroach, shown in rigorous detail, are among the most impressive to leap from the pages, according to a recent New York Times review.

Bugs: A Stunning Pop-Up Look at Insects, Spiders, and Other Creepy-Crawlies

Suggested by Megan Gambino

Darwin: A Graphic Biography

None
(SI.edu)

$9.95

Any biologist from elementary to expert knows the tale of Charles Darwin and his famous theory of evolution, but the biographical details can sometimes be a little too historical to entice the more casual learner. Thankfully, journalist Eugene Byrne and illustrator Simon Gurr have created the perfect anecdote to Darwin's Victorian-style biography: a boldly visual graphic novel, which follows Darwin from boyhood to the HMS Beagle and beyond in fewer than 100 pages.

Darwin: A Graphic Biography

Suggested by Beth Py-Lieberman