Adam Brown and Andrea Zemel The Founders
Adam Brown Philadelphia born, BA from Temple University in Northeast Asian studies and the Japanese language. Brown apprenticed as a young carpenter in Dallas during the tail end of the Texas oil boom. After a brief period in the late 1970s developing property in Manhattan's East Village, in the mid 1980's he went on to become an investor and general contractor in central Philadelphia, buying and selling residential real estate. As entrepreneur and adventurer, in the mid 1990's Brown made a series of trips to the newly formed Czech Republic with his new partner and spouse Andrea Zemel, culminating in a series of strategic alliances in the art and antiques field. In 1996 he met Leon Tsoukernik, the premier dealer of Biedermeier furniture in Prague. Leon introduced Adam to the nuances of the style as only the connoisseur could, and later partnered with Brown to establish a retail presence in Philadelphia as I. Brewster & Brown. In 1999, Tsoukernik's Prague/Washington based antiques gallery Metternich Ltd. merged with I. Brewster & Brown Philadelphia to launch ILIAD Antik New York on 58th street, combining in a single enterprise one of the largest collections of first period Austro-Hungarian Biedermeier, and one of the finest restoration ateliers in the world. In 2002, Zemel and Brown acquired Tsoukernik's interest in the company and maintain their affiliation to this day.
An ardent antiquarian and student of classical and Near Eastern culture, Brown has combined his love of the ancient world and his passion for modernism and contemporary arts to achieve an ambitious vision at ILIAD's monumental new 57th street gallery. Serving as a platform for the pursuit of art, culture, excellence, and adventure, Iliad is a tour de force in decorative and fine arts spanning more than 5000 years of the human experience.
Andrea Zemel Washington DC born, Andrea Zemel received her BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She later completed her MFA at Penns Graduate School of Fine Arts, studying painting under Neil Welliver and printmaking with Hitoshi Nakazato. Zemel spent three years on the faculty at Penn, having launched a collaborative and public art program that continues to this day.
In the mid 1990's, Zemel left academia and moved to New York with her partner and spouse Adam Brown to explore fine art and antiques in the post-communist Czech Republic. There she was captivated not only with the Biedermeier style, but by her first encounters with the modernist art traditions of Eastern Europe. Informed and inspired by these new lexicons, Brown and Zemel would share their zeal as collectors and purveyors of Czech and Hungarian modern art. In 1999 they founded ILIAD Antik in the heart of Manhattan's midtown design district. Zemel would later draw on her experience as sculptor and draftsman in 2001 by launching ILIAD Design, and has created an extensive portfolio of high-end commissions of period inspired furnishings in the Biedermeier and Art Deco style at ILIAD's comprehensive workshop in Prague. Besides being a founding partner of ILIAD and head designer for ILIAD Design, she is actively involved in the curation of ILIAD's Contemporary Art program, which includes a selection of allegorical mosaic works from her own studio.