November 30, 2022

Array of Handcrafted Items and Art-Related Gifts Offered at Princeton University Art Museum Store

CREATIVE CHOICES: “We are set apart by the fact that we are the Princeton University Art Museum Store, and by our focus on regional artists and their handcrafted items. We are also a point of reference for information about the museum.” Allie P. Wolf, left, the store’s manager of wholesale and retail operations, is shown with staff members, from left, Hatice Cam, Michael T. Banks, Regina Massaro, and Stephanie Ronquillo.

By Jean Stratton

Discover art in all its beauty, diversity, and myriad forms at the Princeton University Art Museum Store.

This small shop at 56 Nassau Street is a treasure trove — a cornucopia of gifts. It offers the original creations of regional artists and artisans, as well as art-related gifts of all kinds.

Opened at its current site on Nassau Street and Palmer Square in 2019, it was previously located on campus in the Princeton University Art Museum. Now closed, the museum is being totally rebuilt, with plans to reopen in 2024.

“The focus of the store is on supporting regional artists, featuring their work in glass, ceramic, wood, metal, textiles, and jewelry,” explains Allie P. Wolf, the store’s buyer and manager of wholesale and retail operations. “In addition, we have Princeton University Museum-related items, including museum catalogs and books.”

Youngest Customers

Reaching out to the youngest customers is also part of the store’s purview. “Our children’s selection is both entertaining and educational, with books, games, puzzles, and more, all aimed at helping them learn about art and engage their imagination,” says Wolf.

With an extensive background in retail, including in a series of shopping malls, Wolf joined the Art Museum Store in 2018. Living in many places — from Baltimore to Boston, and Tampa, Fla., to Sydney, Australia, she has had exceptional experience and understanding of retail and marketing.

“What is unique here is the relationship to art in so many ways,” she points out. “We share ideas with museums across the country, and we have relationships with the artists whose work we present.”

The work of more than 100 regional artists is featured, and includes the original creations of Dan and Jill Burstein of Hopewell Stained Glass, Bryan Weitz’s ceramic platters with their gorgeous colors and unique curving configuration, and the beautiful reverse painted glass (eglomise) of Mary Mayhew.

The very popular jewelry selection offers earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces in styles from delicate to dramatic. Customers will find striking gold cuff bracelets with sterling sliding beads, gold rings with sliding baby pearls, and gold bracelets with a delicate “crochet” design.

Ashka Dymel, working from Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for her contemporary mixed metal pieces in geometric and architectural styles with gemstones, and Mia Hebeb from New York offers elegantly sculptured gold-plated earrings and necklaces, expertly crafted.

Superb Quality

Wolf knows many of the artists, and also attends a series of shows during the year to view new creations.

“I get very excited over the quality and designs of the work we see from our artists,” she says. “We go to events at the Flemington Craft Show, and in Philadelphia and New York. We probably go to 10 a year along the East Coast. It’s a wonderful chance to see such superb quality and the latest creations.

The interesting and eclectic selection at the store is engagingly presented. Although the shop is small, the setting is inviting and uncrowded. Glass and wood pieces and textiles are prominently displayed. Silk and cashmere scarves, wool hats, fingerless gloves, handbags, and totes are all available.

Wooden bowls in all shapes, sizes, and styles are specialties, and the glass items, also in an array of shapes, sizes, and styles, are exquisitely designed and fashioned.

Project watches with their distinctive architectural and design motif are also available, as are coasters, candles, and calendars, many with an art theme.

The diverse collection continues with desk accessories, notebooks with art-related covers, and stationery. Coloring books for children and adults feature art themes, and books, also for adults and children, are always in demand. A Children’s History of Art introduces art and artists to young readers, and a number of books relating to art as well as Princeton Art Museum publications and catalogs are featured.

In Person

Customers have been enjoying the current location of the store, says Wolf, and they have been especially glad to return after the shop was closed for several months in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“We are very encouraged,” she reports. “We have customers not only from Princeton and the area but also from Philadelphia and New York. People often find us online, and then come in to see us in person. We also continue to offer online shopping opportunities.

“It’s really been good, and we keep getting new people coming in as well as our longtime customers. They really seem to like everything in our selection.

“They will also love our location during the holidays when everything looks so beautiful with all the lights and decorations. We are right across from the tree at the Nassau Inn.”

In addition, she points out, “I want people to know that during the time the museum is being rebuilt, we have two galleries with rotating exhibits. One is at Bainbridge House at 158 Nassau Street and the other, Art on Hulfish, is at 11 Hulflsh Street.”

Prices at the store cover a wide range, with items from $12 and $15 to much more. Jewelry starts at $40, and Wolf notes that the average amount spent by most customers is $29. There is also a membership program, offering year-round discounts. In addition, shipping and complimentary gift wrapping are available.


The store is a nonprofit business, and all sales support the museum and the operation of the store. As its mission statement points out: “Proceeds support the museum’s core goal of bringing art into everyday life through fostering close and sustained looking, rich interpretive experiences, and educational programming.”

Wolf also points out the museum’s increased focus on diversity — in all areas. “I am part of the advisory group of DEIA — diversity, equality, inclusion, accessibility. Our mission and the University’s mission is to expand diversity and inclusion in all ways, including in art.”

Being part of such a unique store is a pleasure for Wolf, and she also appreciates being surrounded by a very experienced staff.

“I love our staff. Our entire museum store staff is amazing,” she says. “They are all extremely knowledgeable and are very helpful to customers. It’s total teamwork with us. We all work together. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be part of something so special and to be able to introduce those — including children, who may be new to it — to the wonderful world of art.”

Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, call (609) 258-5600 or visit