Over 75 Years of Holiday Card Innovation

Since the 1940s, MoMA has invited artists to create delightful, original and unexpected designs for our Holiday Card Program. Over the years, the designs have evolved from flat cards to pop-up and 3D paper-engineered cards.

Staying true to our mission of offering products that marry functionality with beautiful, innovative design, our holiday cards are more like art objects than ordinary cards. We seek out cards from both established and emerging artists, choosing original, extraordinary designs that are unlike any that are on offer from other retailers. The process of each card begins with the artist hand-assembling the prototype, which is then reviewed by our team. When the cards are ready for production, each one is printed and meticulously handcrafted. These artist-created cards are made for sending greetings for Christmas, Hanukkah, the New Year and the general holiday season. Most of the cards have a greeting printed inside but some, like those featuring work by MoMA collection artists, are blank—so senders can include personalized messages.

How We Choose Our Artist-Designed Holiday Cards

Each year begins with an open call to established and emerging artists: Send us your best holiday card designs. After several rounds of reviews by our selection committee over the course of months, we make our decisions based on the following criteria: innovative and experimental uses of paper, new interpretations of traditional holiday motifs and themes, witty sophistication and elements of surprise. Every holiday season we strive to create a diverse collection of cards with a variety of themes, colors, interactive features and construction techniques that come together to embrace the spirit of the holidays.

“Gingerbread City” by Christiane Grauert

“As gingerbread houses are an iconic tradition of Christmas, they seemed like the perfect topic for an architecturally inspired design, which is something that interests me,” explains Grauert. “Rather than just making one candy-decorated pop-up building, I thought how much more enticing it would be for anyone with a sweet tooth to be taken to an entire city of gingerbread buildings.”

Shop Gingerbread City

“Merry Mistletoe” by David A. Carter

“I designed this pop-up card to bring on holiday smooches. It’s a card that can also be used as an ornament,” explains Carter. “It’s built on a slice-form platform that can be held by hand or hung in a doorway like traditional mistletoe. I enjoy working with paper because it’s a very versatile medium to sculpt with. It can be both flexible and rigid, depending on how it is used.”

“Christmas Claw Machine” by Rob Kelly

 “I gravitate toward creating paper structures that are nostalgic and evocative of play—and naturally Christmas reminds me of happy memories playing together with family,” says Kelly. “This little arcade crane game was an opportunity to make something that I hope will also become a treasured memory as an ornament and as a meaningful greeting from a loved one.”

Christmas Claw Machine