After graduating from UCLA in 1971, Michael Bernstein hitch-hiked across the U.S. and took off to South America on a cargo flight from Miami. He discovered a continent frozen in time. One could investigate primitive and historic cultures as they existed for thousands of years. Thus started Michael's lifelong career of collecting and offering hand made crafts, artifacts, and colonial antiques from around the world.
In 1979 he met his future wife and companion in travel, Jeanne, in a Chicago suburb antique shop that she owned. They teamed up and started their traveling life together. Jeanne added her Elmhurst College Art degree to Michael's adventure and export talents and they were off, raising two children along the way.
Eventually the couple settled in Tucson, Arizona because it seemed to fit their lifestyle and the colonial art they were offering. After exploring every country in South America, from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, to the Orinoco river of Venezuela, the Bernsteins, in their search for unusual and unique world treasures, broadened their explorations to other continents.
Traveling throughout Asia, Indonesia, Africa, and Europe, they have unearthed the essence of the Colonial experience in each of these regions of the world. Travels in these regions are always rough but rewarding, as evident by the beautiful inventory now available at Colonial Frontiers.
Meet the other partner in business and travel, Mary DeFilippo. A family friend for the past 20 years, Mary became associated with the Bernstein's business in 1998. She met Michael and Jeanne at their first Tucson business location in 1980, selling them antique textiles she had collected during her teaching mission in Bolivia. She brings her degree in Fine Arts, and experiences in living and traveling abroad in such places as Indonesia, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico, which complements the exotic ambiance at Colonial Frontiers.
Mary has made several buying trips with the Bernstein's to Spain, Mexico and India. For months she holds down the fort at the gallery while Michael and Jeanne are cruising the world hunting for treasures worthy of being offered at Colonial Frontiers.
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