Over 110 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 the Grand Canyon, opened his 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 mid-1950s when she sold it to the current family – the only change in ownership in more than 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 inventory, establishing solid friendships with artists such as Maria Martinez and Pablita Velarde.
Wayne Bobrick, the husband of Sam and Marguerite’s oldest daughter Tania, started working at Wright’s in 1970, and upon Sam’s passing in 1981, Wayne became the Director of Wright’s.
Wayne, affectionately referred to as Mr. B by artists, customers and employees, became known as the face of Wright’s and helped to morph it from a humble trading post to a more contemporary and upscale Native American art gallery.
Old Roots, New Beginnings
In 2016, after 47 years in the business, Mr. B decided it was time to retire and find the right people to carry Wright’s forward. There were many passionate and supportive family members who could not take on such a commitment at the time, but by the end of the search, Wayne and Tania’s oldest granddaughter, Lauren, and her husband Dan were ready to step into a leadership role and take Wright’s into the next generation!
With their enthusiasm and fresh outlook, they’ve promised to carry forward the existing legacy of strict authenticity, solid value, and personal service that is both knowledgeable and down to earth. Lauren and Dan have continued to bring excitingly creative young artists to the public’s attention, in both the traditional and new, 21st-century ways.
And now they are raising a new generation of Native art lovers, their two young children Mariella and Jeremiah, who can often be found cruising around the gallery alongside their parents.
For over a century, 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 handmade by a Native American artist – from up-and-coming younger artists to veteran, multiple award-winners. Whether you are looking for jewelry, pottery, paintings, sculptures, or weavings, Wright’s has something for you that is guaranteed to be unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade by, and purchased directly from a Native American artist!
If you would like to use layaway for that special piece, just let us know, we have the world’s easiest layaway policy. Our layaway policy gives you a full calendar year to pay off your choices. But be sure to treat yourself, as well as thinking of others – you deserve it!
We at Wright’s pride ourselves on our old-fashioned customer service. Don’t see exactly the right thing on this website? Just e-mail or call us, and we will send high-quality digital photos, just for you. We are always happy to discuss every piece – we personally select each one when the artists bring their beautiful work into the gallery.
Without you, and the exceptional artists, we would not exist. So, thank you for browsing our website; whether virtually, or in person, we look forward to chatting with you!