Donald Fowler in the Nasher Sculpture Garden by Mindy Byrd.
Sophia bookends, $120
Nuuna Kaleidoscope journals, $36 each
Late this summer, the Nasher Sculpture Center’s retail gift and book store went on a brief hiatus — but it reopened today, showcasing newly appointed store director of retail Donald Fowler’s impressive collection of new product, all from a crop of carefully sourced international vendors.
“I didn’t go back to the well for anything,” says Fowler, who previously led the home interiors shop at Stanley Korshak before taking the helm at the now-shuttered Nest boutique.
“Everything will feel younger and more current. It will be a place where you are getting new ideas all the time.”
In keeping with the Nasher itself, which mounts world-class exhibitions of contemporary sculpture, Fowler plans to switch out merchandise every season, emphasizing items that complement the museum’s current shows.
A half-dozen smaller jewelry collections will be represented, including custom pieces by Mia Lara, whose semiprecious stones for her necklaces, earrings, and rings are sourced in India, then handmade into jewelry in Brooklyn. Elizabeth Wimpress has designed a collection exclusively for the store, using crocodile leather, beetle wings, and antique iron nails salvaged from Hurricane Katrina. Also look for German jewelry designer Bernd Wolf’s architectural lapis lazuli jewelry and Paris-based MIE’s bold, icon-driven necklaces and earrings. Spanish designer Majoral offers gold-wrapped, Mediterranean-inspired bracelets.
On the home front, Fowler focuses on objects he spotted at Maison & Objet in Paris, including vibrant Yves Klein-blue bookends created by Athens–based Sophia.
Local artist Kat Cole creates custom Memphis Style-inspired cloisonné bowls for the store, and there are oversized mouth-blown glass decanters from Portland, Oregon–based Esque Studio.
Tomes on art, fashion, and design will appeal to bookish collectors. “I’ll have an edited selection and only what’s the most au courant,” Fowler says.
He is particularly excited about a new Taschen letterpress rendition of author James Baldwin’s masterful work about race relations in the 1960s. This version of The Fire Next Time packs added poignancy, illustrated by more than 100 photographs made by Steve Schapiro, who traveled through the American south with Baldwin on assignment for Life magazine during the height of the civil rights movement.
“The Nasher has the most current ideas in sculpture,” he says. “So why not in the store?”