Trolling the MPM gift shop: Bewitched, bothered & bejeweled

Milwaukee Public Museum hosts Cleopatra: The Search For the Last Queen of Egypt through April. You'll want your camera in the gift shop.
January 2nd, 2012 |
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“Cleo Cat-Tra”

Here I am with TCD’s intern photographer, standing inside the Milwaukee Public Museum (800 W. Wells St.) Gift Shop; not the one downstairs, but the one at the end of the winding road known as Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt. It’s a big shop with stuff, some of it is actually stuffed, as in a barrel of little fluffy cats, tagged “Cleo Cat-Tra.” Does it get any sillier?

Yes, it does.



Here’s intern Jenney in a get-up fit for a Queen. And me wearing an Indiana-Jones style topper.








Rows of coffee mugs embellished with kohl-rimmed eyes (eeek!), and a stack of catalogs with a cover of the same orb image. A shop assistant says the catalogs are (so far) the most popular item. Sunscreen? Huh? For all those desert sands perhaps? When the Cleopatra exhibition moves on after April 29, 2012, the gift shop items move with it, part of a mega marketing plan for a mega exhibition. Racks of neckties (Antony never wore one), t-shirts, wooden games, etc, but are there any asps? Perhaps.

Word has arrived from the tombs that kids will “rule” during Cleo sleepovers on January 27 and March 23. With the help of a flashlight, seekers of excitement can bed down in select exhibit areas. Think of it as a campy campout, with a few things that go bump in the night. No bears or raccoons allowed.


Photos by Jennell Jenney. Click here for TCD’s full story on Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt. For more information on tickets and times, visit or call 414-278-2728. 

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