Brimfield is a photographic and written essay about the number one flea market in the world. This was how the Travel Channel described the Brimfield Antique and Collectible Shows that transform this small New England town into a teeming bazaar. Five thousand dealers and hundreds of thousands of collectors converge on Brimfield, in central Massachusetts, three times a year to indulge their passion for collecting rare, beautiful, and bizarre objects. Brimfield caters for all tastes and for all budgets. Founded in 1959, the Shows have become a revered institution in the world of antiques and collectibles, a place where dreams become real, where lasting friendships are made, and where the dealers re-affirm their professional and personal ties.
But, above all, Brimfield is about seeking and finding an object of desire. The excitement begins even before the shows open. During the night, lines of vans, cars, and trucks start to move into the fields in the darkness. The dealers begin setting up. As dawn breaks, hundreds of expectant people are gathered at the gates. The gates open and treasure-hunters and fantasy-seekers from all over the world pour in. The famous Brimfield rush in all senses of the word is under way. The book is a focused sample of a larger body of work that deals with the experience of outdoor antiques markets from the point of view of an insider observing the interactions of buyers and sellers with the objects and each other. The objects photographed are of the more unusual and bizarre, rather than the well-known or commonly collected antiques. The photographs of people concentrate on the obsession of collecting, and deal with the question of ‘Why collect?” The tension, as well as the joy in collecting, is captured in many of the photographs.