The story behind The Gordon Collection begins in 1969 when Bill and Ginny Gordon took teaching positions at the Rough Rock Demonstration School on the Navajo Nation near Chinle, Arizona where 80% of the adults spoke not a word of English.

The Rough Rock Demonstration School was the first Indian run school in the United States and was founded on the principles that Indian education was best initiated by native speakers and that community participation and pride of heritage were integral to successful cultural blending.

While teaching in this remote area, they were immersed in Navajo life from the herding of sheep to invitations to ceremonies. Native silversmiths and weavers were constant visitors and demonstrators at this first community oriented school.

Their daughter, Corina, was born on the Navajo Nation during this time. Realizing that teaching was less interesting to them then the arts which surrounded them, Bill and Ginny decided to become merchants. After a couple of years moving around selling Native American arts, they heard about a new ski resort being built in Telluride, Colorado. The Gordons moved to Telluride in January of 1973.

The Gordon's operated a Native American arts gallery throughout the 1970s and early 1980s on main street in Telluride. These years were difficult for retail business due to the remote location and lack of resort recognition. Bill and Ginny started other careers in property management and construction but maintained their interest (some say obsesssion!) with the collecting and selling of Navajo weavings, Native American silverwork, pottery and baskets. Corina attended Telluride School from kingergarten through 12th grade, spending her early years being raised in the gallery on main street.

The Gordon Collection opened a new retail location in 2016 at 220 East Colorado Avenue, Telluride, Colorado. Currently the gallery is open from late May to mid October and from Thanksgiving to the beggining of April.

Oak and Carrie Smith bring 18 years of experience teaching and working in the Kayenta area of the Navajo Nation. Their experience is invaluable in collecting and background knowledge of Native American culture and arts.

Corina is now bringing this 50+ year old business online to expand our offerings to the greater public.


The Gordons have amassed a substantial selection of South Western Native American Art. Our retail shop in Telluride, CO is open during seasonal tourism times over the winter ski season and summer months. We can be reached by email, thegordoncollection@gmail.com, or by phone, 970-728-1443 or 970-708-7368.

The Gordons and Smiths invite you to browse through our online collection knowing that our inventory contains many items which are not featured on this site, feel free to reach out to us if you are not finding exactly what you wish online. We would be glad to help you locate that perfect piece for yourself or as a gift.

Thank you for visiting The Gordon Collection.

Bill Gordon