COLLECTORS EXTRAVAGANZA® was founded in 1969 by coin collector and dealer Walt Johnson. The name became a registered trademark in 1972, the first antiques and collectibles show bear a federal mark. Walt's influence in the 1970s and 1980s was significant. Show managers from around the country would regularly visit the Des Moines Show to see what "than man from the Midwest" was doing. His innovations led to what we came to know as the "mega show".
With the close association of the events to the facilities in which they were held, the show names of Antiques and Wings and Antiques At The FAIRGROUNDS were added in 2004 & 2005. The Johnson family also felt strongly that the word Antiques needed to be included in the name of the show.
COLLECTORS EXTRAVAGANZA® shows are owned by Walt's daughter Nancy Johnson. Walt Johnson had retired to Marin County, California when he passed away on July 28, 2013. Walt was still actively collecting coins from Canada, Mexico and Asia as well as seeking out unique ephemera.
Nancy Johnson does business as Nancy Johnson Bookseller with reference books, in and out of print, about antiques and the arts. She exhibits in shows from the Great Lakes to the West Coast. With an inventory exceeding 75,000 volumes, Nancy launched in 2006 an affiliated web-site, NancyJohnsonBookseller.com. A division of Collectors Extravaganza Corp, Nancy Johnson Events Management LLC manages for United Voluntary Services the Hillsborough Antique Show in San Mateo, California. In 2011, NJEM acquired ownership of the San Francisco Antiquarian Book Print & Paper Fair. Nancy Johnson Events owns and manages Antiques At Wings in Denver, The Original Salt Lake Antique Show in suburban Sandy, Utah and 20th Century Expo in San Francisco.
As show dealers themselves, the Johnsons have always seen the antiques and collecting world from the exhibitor perspective, too, which continues to be reflected in management style and policies.
Nancy Johnson served four terms as President of the Professional Show Managers Association (PSMA) and remains active as Past President.
It is easy for the COLLECTORS EXTRAVAGANZA® shows to subscribe to the PSMA Code of Ethics, as honest representation of merchandise has been a hallmark of the Johnson shows for four decades.
COLLECTORS EXTRAVAGANZA® Corp. donates part of its pre-tax profits to the Frances Goodman Johnson Foundation, a private non-profit and non-political organization established 1997 in memory of Mrs. Johnson. Visit the Gazebo and Rose Gardens at the Des Moines Botanical Center, a memorial garden donated to the City of Des Moines by the Foundation. Denver residents and visitors will enjoy bringing their children to Kidspace at Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum where the Foundation is sponsoring the Reading Nook. The Foundation supports the Colorado Regional Science Fair in Alamosa through contributions and book sales. The Walt Johnson Collections Preservation at the Des Moines Public Library has been established in Walt's memory. Funding will be used to digitize the Library's archives of Des Moines and central Iowa history.