After a 25-year career with big-name department stores, Macy's and Bullocks, little did Margaret Handelman suspect that one day she would launch the Asian Art Museum gift store.
Upon retiring, Margaret joined the docent training program. "The Asian Art Museum was the perfect venue to explore my passion for Asian Art," she says. Margaret also became active in the Society for Asian Art, serving as travel chair, treasurer and president.
In the late 80s, museums across the country were opening retail stores. When Rand Castile, the museum director, asked Margaret if she would spearhead the opening of a museum store, she jumped at the challenge.
As store manager, Margaret had many adventures. Although she typically worked with local importers and designers to source products, she once traveled to Mongolia in the dead of winter to find merchandise for an exhibition.
Margaret retired from this second retail career when the former museum building closed, but she continues to be involved in the museum as a Jade Circle and Connoisseurs' Council member. She is also a member of the Gump Society, making a gift to the museum in her will.
"The museum has been such an important part of my life," she says. "I want to share it with others, including future generations. I've met an incredible group of people and learned so much."
Photographs © Asian Art Museum
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