About the Gallery
In 1993, Sue Simpson Gallagher and her husband, John Gallagher, pulled up stakes in New York City and moved to Sue’s hometown of Cody, Wyoming, to start a fine art gallery. Cody seemed the perfect place. It has always been known as a vibrant art community and, thanks to the legacy of Buffalo Bill and the presence of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, it continues to be an art destination. The gallery opened in 1994 on a side street in Cody and six years later moved into one of Cody’s oldest buildings on the town’s main street across from the historic Irma Hotel.
In the mid 1980’s, Sue worked at an art gallery in Jackson, Wyoming, and later became the first curator of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. During those years, she met and befriended some of the preeminent American painters and sculptors whose works were inspired and influenced by the American West.
Those artist friends became the artists represented by Simpson Gallagher Gallery. Over the years, many new artists have been added to the gallery’s roster. While focused primarily on landscape paintings and etchings and wildlife sculpture, the gallery continues to evolve exhibiting a broad range of work.
The gallery celebrated its 25th anniversary in September 2019.
Celebrating 25 Years
1994 - 2019
A Cody, Wyoming native, Sue Simpson Gallagher has been in engaged with art for most of her life. But she credits a course that she took as a young teenager at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (now the Buffalo Bill Center of the West) with setting her on the artistic path. “It was about landscape painting, and it’s been my focus ever since,” she says. “I realized I could have a career in art.”
Simpson Gallagher has a bachelor’s degree in art history, a master’s degree in 19th-century American painting and over 30 years of experience in the art business. She was the first curator of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming and co-wrote a documentary on the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Before opening the gallery in summer 1994, Sue and her husband John Gallagher participated in the Smithsonian’s “Save Outdoor Sculpture” project. They spent six months traveling to every town in Wyoming to document public outdoor sculptures.
She has served on the Wyoming Arts Council, Park County Arts Council, and currently serves as a trustee of the National Museum of Wildlife Art and on the Advisory Board of the Whitney Western Art Museum. She is a longstanding committee member of the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale.
As an art consultant, Simpson Gallagher evaluates estate art and travels to artists’ studios, art shows and art auctions searching out works for the gallery and clients. She considers it a joy to help clients build and grow both public and private collections specializing in historic western pieces and contemporary art that reflects multiple perspectives on life in the West.
Simpson Gallagher is a recipient of the Wyoming Arts Council 2020 Governor’s Arts Award for her dedication to the arts in Wyoming as both a curator and arts advocate.
In 2018, Laura Swett became part of the Simpson Gallagher Gallery team helping to manage the gallery during the summer seasons. Swett and her husband, Al, have been patrons of the gallery since its beginning and are Cody summer residents. Says Swett: “I really enjoy being on the other side of the desk, so to speak, working with the artists and getting to know the friends and patrons of the gallery. But the best part of the job is working with Sue. She has taught me so much and with her guidance, I continue to expand my knowledge and appreciation of the art and artists we represent.”
Swett is on the Board of Managers and for many years was a docent at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York which is home when she is not in Cody.