Sally and Glenn Cutter’s gallery of treasures has stood the test of time…
and for good reason.
Written and photography by Cheryl Fallstead
Cutter Gallery, housed in an historic Las Cruces building, is like Ali Baba’s cave of treasure waiting to be discovered. With a delicious and eclectic mix of jewels, literal and figurative, it’s a not-to-be-missed shopping experience. Where else can you find three stories of art by a dozen New Mexican artists, fine antiques and collectibles, Asian furniture and porcelain, custom-made and estate jewelry, Southwestern art, religious art, vintage pottery, Persian rugs, crystal, Jan Barboglio gift items, and much more?
Sally and Glenn Cutter have been in businesses in Las Cruces since 1965 and have been at their current location at the intersection of University Avenue and El Paseo Road over 30 years. The iconic building was home to NMSU’s first president, Hiram Hadley, who had the house built in 1906 after he retired. The imposing brick structure has also been the base for a nursery, a boarding house, and a fraternity home for the Lambda Chi. Sally laughs when she recalls that after they bought the building from the fraternity, but before the store opened, the fraternity members would sneak into the basement and have beer parties, leaving their empties neatly lined up. The Cutters added the section that is now the jewelry store and gallery where there once was a two-story carriage house.
Cutter Gallery offers jewelry, watch, and clock repairs, custom jewelry design, restoration of paintings, ceramics, and wood, and conservation and appraisal. In their over 44 years of business, they’ve handled some interesting projects. The gallery’s featured jewelry designer, Jo-an Smith, recalls her most dramatic assignment, back in the 1980s, was decorating a pair of Tony Lama boots with diamonds and rubies, which then went on tour for the company. She has also made a diamond ring fashioned like a cement truck and a gold road grader pendant with moving parts. Another specialty is repurposing family jewelry into new designs.
Items in the store are quite diverse and of various eras. One unique item is a Chinese blue porcelain urinal from the 1800s. (It’s actually quite lovely!) A large Chinese apothecary cabinet from the same century features dozens of drawers, although time has stolen any mysterious scents they might once have held. In the main gallery, find a striking wooden sculpture of St. Michael wielding a sword and scales. As you wander the rooms and floors, you go from a table set with blue and white English porcelain to Asian ceramics, delicate glass collectibles, and art by regional artists as well as older pieces from estates.
One room includes Casas Grandes pottery from the 1400s, making them the oldest items in the store. When the villagers living in Mata Ortiz, Mexico, found shards of the ancient pottery, they were inspired to recreate the designs, experimenting with locally dug clay and pigments as well as firing techniques until they perfected the steps that are now passed from one generation to the next. The store offers both the ancient and the modern pottery.
With the world moving from brick and mortar stores, which Cutter Gallery literally is, to virtual stores, the Cutters are keeping with the times. They now offer about 650 items on their eBay store: The Cutter Gallery. You can now discover some of the store’s treasures from home.
The Cutter Gallery
2640 El Paseo Road