Home .: About Us
Coyote’s Paw Gallery opened in May of 1984 in a small St. Louis, Missouri storefront selling hand-made things from around the world including ethnic and tribal art and jewelry. Co-owners Alan Suits and Ann Lehman each brought their unique experience of other world cultures to the enterprise.
Intrigued as a child by the music and culture of India, Alan traveled there in his late teens to study music and be immersed in the rich traditions of Southern India. Later trips took him to Morocco and West Africa where he lived for a while and studied kora. During this time, Alan collected musical instruments and other artifacts from various world cultures, often selling some of the things he’d acquired. A degree in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis earned after these travels added to his knowledge of world traditions.
Interest in art and Asian culture took Ann to Taiwan and Japan where she lived for three years in each place, studying language, painting and woodblock printmaking. While her work in painting and printmaking continued to develop, Ann taught English as a Second Language and also art and art history at the St. Louis Art Museum. Her many classes in art history at the University of Michigan where she earned her degree in psychology, her studio art classes and experience teaching gave her a fine appreciation for the rich diversity of art and handicrafts around the world.
An immediate success, Coyote’s Paw Gallery soon expanded into its third and largest location in St. Louis while Alan and Ann explored new areas of the world, buying treasures for the gallery. In the year 2000, after sixteen years of business, the physical gallery closed and became a web business while Alan and Ann prepared for their move to Santa Fe, New Mexico in June of 2001.
Two years later a very small Coyote’s Paw Gallery storefront opened in Santa Fe and again eventually expanded into its third location in Sanbusco Market Center. Over the many years since the gallery’s opening, connoisseurs from all over the world have become loyal customers of the unique collections offered in the gallery. In addition, Alan has consulted and done appraisals for private individuals and institutions including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Music Museum; University of Michigan - Stearns Collection; St. Louis Art Museum; Washington University, St. Louis; Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix and Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe.
At the end of February 2010, Coyote's Paw Gallery in Sanbusco closed and through this website and online store continued to offer fine quality, one-of-a-kind pieces. Most recently in October 2013 after several years of selling at The Traditional Santa Fe Flea Market, Coyote's Paw Gallery opened a new retail space at 924 Paseo De Peralta #3 across from the beginning of Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After three years, this location closed the end of 2016. Retirement is our goal but we will continue selling online and at selected shows.
Alan will pursue his skill and interest in making musical instruments that include Renaissance vihuelas and lutes, Middle Eastern ouds, and Indian sitars (see Musical Instruments). Ann will continue her work in the mediums of drawing and egg tempera painting (visit annlehman.com). Both are still inspired by the beauty and cultural richness of the Southwest and the Santa Fe area.