Portrait of James Benham, founder of the Benham Trading Company
JAMES BENHAM

A frontier jack-of-all-trades, James Benham co-founded The Curio shop in Phoenix, Arizona in 1895, a store that sold Southwest Indian arts and crafts. In 1903 he parlayed a position with a New Mexico archeological dig into the Benham Trading Company, which, along with the Fred Harvey Company, was one of the top sellers of ancient and contemporary Indian goods. Fred Muschenheim purchased a number of items for the American Indian Hall from Benham.