Grimmer Roche

Grimmer Roche

Like many dealers of American Indian, or "First American," art, Mac Grimmer, of the appointment-only Grimmer Roche, started out as a collector. After moving to Santa Fe from LA, Grimmer renovated a historic building on Canyon Road and opened the Morning Star Gallery in 1982. Twelve years later, as the finest First American art became rarer and rarer, he sold the gallery and began to deal privately. Earlier this year, Grimmer invited David Roche, then director of Indian art at Sotheby’s in New York, to become his partner. Grimmer Roche’s aesthetic approach is encyclopedic connoisseurship (the average sale is $25,000). They deal in what they describe as "the top 15 percent" of American tribal art, which includes Plains Indians war shirts, Northwest masks and rattles, classic Navajo blankets, and pottery and baskets. The partners plan to open a small by-appointment space downtown this fall, "a beautiful white-wall gallery," as Roche describes it, that will continue to "take First American work out of the trading-post mentality, so people can see it as the art that it is."