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Saks Galleries

Category: Small Business Spotlight

August 29, 2016

For over 50 years, Saks Galleries has been family owned and operated. It quickly became the preeminent gallery between coasts, putting Denver—and Cherry Creek North—on the map for art collectors around the country. Here, gallery co-owner, Catherine Saks discusses their history, unique property and love of four-legged friends.

Your father-in-law, Lemon Saks, opened this gallery over half a century ago. Tell us more about who he was…

Lemon Saks was a Danish born immigrant who came to the United States in 1938. He was a keen observer of antiques and culture, and he realized that there was a great opportunity to bring European art into the post-war American market. He would travel to Europe three times a year on buying trips. European dealers would hold things for him to see, because they were so anxious for American business.

So Lemon Saks not only created the market for fine art in Denver, but he was also one of the first to realize the untapped potential of the Cherry Creek North area?

Yes, at a time when Cherry Creek North was still largely a neighborhood of small houses, he decided he would build Saks Galleries on 2nd Avenue. He really wanted a structure that was solely devoted to fine art, and once complete, it was then the only building between the coasts that was built specifically to be an art gallery. Every detail in its construction was artistic, as well, from the travertine face to the imported gold-plated door handles.

How would you say the gallery has evolved over the years? Have you observed any shifts in what people are collecting or selling?

While some things have changed in the “art scene,” Saks Galleries remains focused on bringing quality works that are a good value in the current economy. Architectural trends may dictate the style of works being exhibited but quality is a constant.

A popular water dish for four-legged friends sits outside your gallery, and you can find more than a few beautifully sculpted canine bronzes inside. Someone must be a dog lover?

At Saks, we all love dogs! We have daily visits from many dogs—and their people—that live in the neighborhood. Dogs are always welcome to browse the art, indulge in a treat and get some hugs from our staff. We have hosted The Bow Wow Benefit to raise funds for a no kill shelter.  We are currently involved with PawsCo, an organization who runs spay/neuter clinics, collects and distributes food to furry friends whose people may be struggling and facilitates adoptions of animals from underserved shelters.

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