Cathy Smith, artist, historian and scholar of the American West

Cathy Smith, artist, historian and scholar of the American West, is best known for her authentic costumes in films such as Dances with Wolves, Comanche Moon, Geronimo and Son of the Morning Star – for which she won the Emmy for Excellence in Costume Design. She is also a 2013 inductee into the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame.

Growing up on a ranch in western South Dakota, bordering two Sioux reservations, led to her relentless pursuit of authentic, traditional Native American art forms, design, and techniques – which have become a much sought after commodity for everyone from museum curators to international collectors to Hollywood producers.

Cathy has spent her lifetime participating in the ceremonies and cultural life-ways of relatives on the Cheyenne River Reservation and refining her skills in the sacred art of porcupine quillwork

“Maintaining these traditional arts is imperative as they are a part of our American heritage in danger of being lost. Not only are they beautiful and useable, but when made with integrity, they are imbued with power & spiritual meaning.”

Cathy lectures on the art & culture of the Western Plains at museums and events, from the Smithsonian to the Eiteljorg. She has exhibited at the National Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth and the Smithsonian, and has a permanent collection in the Booth Western Art Museum. She restores original artifacts for museums & collectors and creates custom regalia and accoutrements not only for film and museums, but for clients worldwide.

Cathy has a studio in Nambe, NM and in the Black Hills of S.Dakota and shows her collection at The Nambe Trading Post.