History of Conan Brooks & thecollectorsi
My name is Conan Brooks and professionally I am a fifth generation international Art & Antiques dealer and collector.
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa (1968) into a family of Art & Antique dealers on both maternal and paternal sides. Throughout my youth I was continually exposed to Art of all genres. Many of my earliest memories in both my parents and grandparents homes were of the art and dealers and collectors who where our guests and their individual knowledge and expertise.
Check out the following article about my Great Grandfather, Julius Brooks, who apparently I am incredibly similar to:
I graduated in the studies of Marketing and Management in London all the while apprenticing under my father's guidance on the weekends and when I had time during the week.
While in the Unites States I visited the 26th Street Flea Market in New York City. I was intrigued by the sheer range and diversity of the antiques for sale and the reasonable prices and ease with which they were transacted. Buyers visited from around the world and I made friendships and associations that are still in place today. I continued to find objects for international clients long after their trips had ended and shipped objects around the globe.
It was here that I set up a booth every weekend. Later I became a permanent dealer at the Showplace, 40 West 25th Street on the ground floor primarily to meet members of the antique community as well as to find and buy unique objects. Dealers, collectors and foreign buyers often arrived very early Saturday mornings or the previous night and I was an ardent member of the flashlight crew.
To my surprise I began to develop both a wholesale and retail clientele and was accepted with open arms into the antiques community and by store owners. I offered my services and those of others to the trade and the business grew even more rapidly.
Always being a collector and admirer of rare handmade rugs and carpets, I was approached by a large foreign weaving company of hand made contemporary rugs and carpets. At their request I designed a number of unique designs and colors. I accepted the challenge energetically and after visiting their weaving ventures overseas the results were successful in every measure.
Shortly thereafter I opened my first store on Mercer Street in Soho. I began traveling internationally buying antiques. On a trip I had met a young man involved who dealt in old carpets and a strong bond and understanding between us formed. We began by restoring old rugs I found in the U.S. and would ship to him. He had rarely seen such old and wonderful examples...quality art had been imported into the U.S. in high volumes since such wealth had been created here in previous centuries. Often the repaired rugs would be sold to trade buyers even before they could be returned to me. I later became deeply involved in creating a weaving project and atelier that produced unique naturally dyed rugs, carpets and runners with the highest quality wools that money could buy, natural dyes and unique contemporary designs.
From Antiquarius (484 Broome Street, Soho) I offered Antique rugs and carpets along with these unique naturally dyed contemporary Rugs and Carpets. We accepted custom orders especially for large Carpets and difficult to create designs all with with an orientation toward quality and uniqueness. I drew all the complicated designs by hand and did the colour selection painstakingly. Both myself and the weavers had hundreds of matching pencils and each was numbered. Via these numbered pencils we spoke the language of colour. Antique tribal and Indigenous art from Africa and elsewhere was also featured with the rare, unusual and never to be seen again being showcased.
In the years after 9/11 I concentrated on traveling extensively both sourcing objects and supplying shops, members of the trade and selective collectors. I established a general Estate and Auction business, New Mexico Auctions and Consignments in Taos,New Mexico. When not traveling I assisted in raising Tristan and Layla Brooks, and yes, they both apprenticed with me at various times in my antique shops.
Now I work 24/7 (I also participate at occasional shows and auctions) from a private gallery and the electronic gallery platform...thecollectorsi. It is the way people see art and antiques today...Not with flashlights at 4 a.m. anymore or often not in Soho galleries but via the Internet with our electronic eyes...The I in the thecollectorsi stands for I in the Internet and rhymes with our eye. It’s an easy way to see the fruits of all my hard work and experience my offerings and experience all at great prices.
Old friends, I am excited about your visit. New friends, please enjoy perusing the site and send me an email or drop me an old telephone call, which I still welcome, and let's chat antiques of whatever kind.