Over 100 years ago, young Charles Wright of Kansas hitched up his team and rode off toward the Western sunset to seek his fortune. He set up the Indian Shop at Fred Harvey’s hotels in Albuquerque and at the Grand Canyon, opened his own trading post on the Navajo reservation, and finally moved his family back to the city, opening El Curio, Wright’s Indian Trading Post, in downtown Albuquerque, in 1907. Since its origin as Wright’s Trading Post and Curios, the business has mirrored the development of Albuquerque, evolving from frontier trading post to metropolitan gallery under the aegis of only two owners and their families.
Kathryn Wright ran the business until the early 1950’s, when she sold it to the current family – the only change in ownership in 110 years. Sam and Marguerite Chernoff epitomized the wonderful interweaving of cultures that makes New Mexico so special: She, born in Chihuahua, Mexico, to the French consul and his Swiss wife; he, a Russian immigrant there. They had four children before the family arrived in Albuquerque and found themselves involved in Native American art. It’s hard to get more diverse! They looked, listened, learned, and gradually developed their own inventory, establishing solid friendships with artists such as Maria Martinez and Pablita Velarde.
Their son-in-law, Wayne Bobrick, the present director, has zealously maintained the Chernoffs’ passion and stringently high standards. “We buy as if we were keeping each piece ourselves. Our customers trust us to be as careful and choosy as they are,” he says.
And now, the Bobricks, are delighted to introduce a new generation of the family, who are thrilled to take Wright’s into the next 50 years: their granddaughter, and her husband, Lauren and Dan Hyman.
With their enthusiasm and younger outlook, they promise to continue Wright’s’ legacy of strict authenticity, solid value, and personal service that is both knowledgeable and down to earth. Lauren and Dan will continue to bring excitingly creative young artists to the public’s attention, in both the traditional and new, 21st-century ways.
Decades of loyal clients have relied on Wright’s for uncompromising authenticity, quality, value, and truly personal service. And that will continue, unchanged. Whether you spend $12 or $12,000, your choice will be beautifully hand made by an individual Native artist – one who is probably a multiple award-winner. Wright’s has one of the largest inventories of any Indian business in the Southwest; for any celebration, Wright’s is sure to have the perfect gift, one that will be treasured. If you would like to use layaway for that special piece, just let us know. But be sure to treat yourself, as well as thinking of others – you deserve it!
Our layaway policy gives you a full calendar year to pay off your choices. Don’t see exactly the right thing on this web site? Just e-mail us, and we will send digital photos just for you.