Our new "I Support the Arts" tee and tote can be endlessly customized—by you
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DIY: “I Support the Arts” Tee and Tote Bag from The Met

You can customize these uniquely artful tees and tote bags in myriad ways

Made to your personal specifications, our new tee and tote bag signal your support for the arts—and your own creative spirit. Do it yourself! The wide range of Met artworks available for your custom design—paintings, prints, sculptures, textiles, decorative objects, and more—represents artists and art from around the world and across the centuries. Simply choose up to nine images and arrange them however you wish on your own tee or bag by using our new, fun-to-use online tool. The possibilities are endless.

Leanne Graeff, senior manager of design and product development for The Met Store, led this initiative in collaboration with YR Store, specialists in custom design. We asked Leanne to share some background on this exciting Met Store project.

What was the original catalyst for the “I Support the Arts” concept? We wanted to give people a way to express their allegiance to The Met—and engage with the Museum’s collection. Customization offers a variety of artworks that consumers can choose for their own products, giving them creative control. There are so many amazing artworks in The Met—this is a way to offer products that showcase incredibly diverse artists, subjects, and cultures.

“Faces of The Met” theme. Left: Juan de Pareja (detail). Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) (Spanish, 1599–1660). Oil on canvas, 32 x 27 1/2 in., 1650. Purchase, Fletcher and Rogers Funds, and Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876-1967), by exchange, supplemented by gifts from friends of the Museum, 1971   1971.86 Right: Marble head of an athlete. Roman, Mid-Imperial, Antonine. Marble, ca. A.D. 138–192. Rogers Fund, 1911   11.210.2

How did you come up with the idea of a customizable tee shirt and tote? The tee and tote were chosen because they are very popular items. They have a similar-sized, large area where you can personalize the layout.

Left: Tote with nine images from the “Faces of The Met” theme. Right: Tee with six images from the “Flowers of The Met” theme.

How many works of art can Met Store customers choose from? There are five themes (animals, colors, faces, flowers, and patterns), each with 16 different art objects, for a total of 80 unique Met artworks that you can mix and match to your own own taste.

“Patterns of The Met” theme. Left: Fragmentary loom width with wavy-vine pattern (detail). Attributed to Turkey, probably Istanbul. Silk, metal-wrapped thread, lampas (kemha); ca. 1565–80. Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1952   52.20.21 Right: Rank badge with qilin (detail). China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Silk and metallic thread embroidery on silk satin, 19th century. Anonymous Gift, 1946   46.133.2

Who determined the Met artworks for the custom products? We chose diverse works with graphic appeal from the Museum’s 17 curatorial departments. Once the selections were made, we got feedback from Met curators, and we incorporated their input to reflect The Met collection from a curatorial perspective.

Are there any preset combinations that one can choose? There are no presets, but it is really easy to begin your own custom design. With the online formatting, every option looks great!

“Flowers of The Met” theme. Left: Bouquet of Flowers (detail). Odilon Redon (French, 1840–1916). Pastel on paper, 31 5/8 x 25 1/4 in., ca. 1900–1905. Gift of Mrs. George B. Post, 1956   56.50 Right: Album containing twelve paintings of flowers (detail). China, unidentified artist. Album of 12 leaves, color on pith paper; 19th century. Gift of Mary E. Cornell, 1958   58.79.3

How long does it take to print and ship the finished tee or tote to the customer? Once you place your online order, the delivery time is from 10 days to two weeks.

Left: Tee with three images from the “Faces of The Met” theme. Right: Tote with three images from the “Animals of The Met” theme.

What would you put on your own custom design? I love the “Animals of The Met” theme, and am looking forward to playing with the options—for certain using the camel from The Met Cloisters [shown below]! I’ll have to see what looks best once I’m on the custom site.

“Animals of The Met” theme. Left: Camel (detail). Made in Castile-León, Spain. Fresco transferred to canvas; 97 x 53 1/2 in.; first half 12th century (possibly 1129–34). The Cloisters Collection, 1961   61.219 Right: Pug (detail), from the Dogs of the World series for Old Judge Cigarettes. Issued by Goodwin & Company. Commercial color lithograph, 1 1/2 x 2 13/16 in., 1890. The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick   63.350.214.163.11

As a means of expressing support for the arts, The Met Store’s collaborative partnership with YR Store is a win/win. Based in London—and with a New York City office in Brooklyn—YR Store has worked on customization projects for Google, Nike, Adidas, Toyota, Nickelodeon, Levi’s, and other major brands.

Visit The Met Store’s online portal to create your own custom tee and tote bag designs here.


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