Glen Joffe, owner of PRIMITIVE in Chicago, never imagined that a chance encounter with an African art dealer would change his life forever. Over 25 years ago, Joffe was out jogging one day when he came across the dealer selling objects to a merchant out in the open. He invited the dealer to his home and was amazed by the attention the artworks drew from his neighbors and even people just passing by. Not only were they fascinated – they were inexplicably drawn to the unique one-of-a-kind objects. Soon after, Glen opened PRIMITIVE as a consignment gallery specializing in African art – but it didn't stop there.
In the following years Glen began to actively travel to different countries, in particular India, Indonesia and China, shipping back hundreds and thousands of ethnographic artworks, artifacts and antiques. Before he knew it, PRIMITIVE was featuring a collection from over 100 cultures worldwide. This opened up a new dialogue that went beyond simply what people collect to how people live with what they collect. The PRIMITIVE showrooms, exclusively designed and handcrafted, all strive to give visitors an unforgettable experience that illuminates the story, history and design heritage behind every object. "To be primitive," Glen says, "is to be authentic."