Cayuse Western Americana

Resource Directory

skullcutout
This spectacular longhorn skull was hand carved by Jenny Booth, an award-winning artist of Cody, Wyoming. Measuring 42 inches from tip to tip, the intricate carvings represent whorls that resemble hair and a floral and scroll pattern. The piece was named Best of Show at the Cody High Style show, and was considered for Best of Show honors at the Western Design Conference in Jackson Hole.

255 N Glenwood Ave
PO Box 1006
Jackson, WY 83001
307-739-1940
cayusewa.com

Tucked a block away from the Town Square, Cayuse Western Americana has earned a reputation as a mandatory stop for savvy collectors of the American West. The shop’s carefully curated selection of antique Native American, cowboy, and national park art and handwork is unmatched. Mary Schmitt, its owner, has also brought together an incredible collection of antique saddles; Navajo and Zuni turquoise; the beaded horse trappings of the northern Plains tribes; original works of art; and fine artisan handicrafts. Gallery, museum, and shop, this is a uniquely Jackson Hole treasure.

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What’s unique about Cayuse Western Americana in contrast to other shops and galleries in Jackson Hole?

We’ve curated one of the best and most original collections of the American West, guaranteeing the authenticity of every piece. Cayuse is a source of generational education and our pieces are imbued with very real stories. They are, in fact, “as big as the West.” We think of ourselves as a bit off the beaten path—rewarding both collectors and those who’d simply like to browse and more—with lots of personal attention and the chance to really take their time and chat with me or my staff. We’re open to everyone.

Tell us more about the art and memorabilia you collect at Cayuse and their context within “the two great horse cultures of the American West.”

We’re speaking of a very interesting, yet short period of time when Native Americans and cowboys were producing some of the items we have in our collection: handmade bridles, saddles, chaps, wrist guards, and artifacts that also reveal cross-sharing between the cultures. This was the 1860s, when you had two nomadic cultures on the Great Plains and the Western saddle had just been invented in Texas. It was a time when quicker communication became possible and the imagery of these icons was then recreated and re-interpreted by early silent films and the like.

“Dedicated to preserving and promoting the culture of the West.”

How does your mission at Cayuse also support contemporary artisans working in traditional mediums, bringing their work to a wider audience?

We encourage contemporary makers, and they have a definite presence in what we showcase at Cayuse. Their current techniques and handwork forge a link to the traditional, and to the lineage of our other authentic pieces.

How do you and your team work with collectors?

Our primary goal is to place the right pieces with the right people. All collectors collect for different reasons—they have different criteria and their own stories to tell. Every piece has a story as well. We work with all levels of collectors to help them find the eclectic objects that become a part of their lives, from desk pieces to saddles and turquoise jewelry and buckles to beaded leatherwork and paintings. I love this part of my work at Cayuse.