Originally from the Pacific Northwest, John studied art at Western Washington University, and museum studies at John F. Kennedy University. While working for the Judah L. Magnes Museum, he delivered 175 Judaic artifacts to Berlin Germany for the exhibition, “Patterns of Jewish Life in the World.” He later returned to graduate study completing an MA in theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a PhD in art and religion from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. Along with Jane Dillenberger, Handley co-authored the book, “The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso” in 2014. He has worked in several museums and galleries over the years, including the Magnes Museum, The Museum of Vision, and the Meridian Gallery, and the Cole Art Gallery at Stephen F. Austin State University. He is currently the executive director of the Museum of East Texas in Lufkin.