Palm Beach Society Interview with owner Carla Berenice Groh Knapek

Palm Beach Society Magazine, Feb 19, 2020

As an archaeologist what made you decide to go into the Fine Art Industry?

I started out 15 years ago working for an Ancient Art dealer in Switzerland while I was still studying at the Classics and Egyptology department to become an archaeologist. It was a life altering experience - being surrounded by magnificent art all day, handling pieces that were thousands of years old and learning the various required skills from lighting to logistics, all this had me hooked from the very beginning. I went back to academia and excavation campaigns for a while but always returned to the trade - first as an Ancient Art expert for auction houses, then moving on to classic modern and contemporary art working for galleries in Vienna.


So how did you start as a dealer?

Founding my Art Brokerage in Vienna, the idea was to act as a mediator between European Galleries and US clients first by building an online portfolio and to establish permanent US representation as a next step. The whole concept then quickly blossomed from spear-heading a network of artists, agents and galleries in Chicago to opening our gallery here in Palm Beach.


Why did you choose Palm Beach to open a gallery?

My experience from doing business in places like St.Moritz in Switzerland taught me an appreciation of working in a tight-knit community and also how to face the challenge of a seasonal business model. Doing several art shows in Palm Beach made me realise that there are a lot of highly sophisticated collectors here with a real appreciation for European Fine Art & Antiquities as well as an extensive knowledge of art history. That is why I felt Palm Beach was the perfect starting point for our first brick and mortar representation.


How would you describe your gallery concept?

Diversified and unique - I want to offer the full variety of solid investment pieces and exciting new artists with a great vision and potential. Therefore the gallery features contemporary artists from the US and Europe alongside classical artwork - offering an eclectic range of art and creating an exciting new mix. The galleries exhibitions are also inspired by my personal fascination with integrating thousands of years of art history in our 21st century way of life - combining the old with the new from 3000 BC to 2020 AD.


What advise do you give to collectors?

What I can offer from a dealers perspective is my expertise from working behind the scenes of the art business and the first hand experience you gather from doing that. My personal advise for new collectors is that a piece of art should always be meaningful to you on a personal level, since you are the one to be living with the artwork in your home, it should inspire your every time you look at it. Art as an investment on the other hand is a whole different matter but I find that art collectors have become so knowledgable over the last years about the market that you can also learn a lot from the various trends of what people are currently collecting.


Why do you think people should invest in an Art collection?

The traditional Vanderbilt investment concept of 1/3 land, 1/3 stocks and 1/3 art is a model that has been proven successful throughout the ages and going back to 2008 and the suddenly increased number of sales we made, showed that especially ancient art is a solid asset investment in times of recession.



Tell us about some of your favourite pieces?

There are several noteworthy pieces in our collection. A strikingly beautiful portrait of the goddess Venus dating back to the second century AD. Magnificent collectibles like Greek and Roman coins and Ancient Egyptian jewellery - even an Ibis bird mummy dating back to the first millennium BC when the Egyptians followed the practice of devoting mummified animals to the god they incarnated, in this case Thoth - the God of wisdom. All of the pieces are museum quality and come with a remarkable collection history.


The whole collection and current exhibition can be seen at EVEY FINE ART Gallery, VIA ROMA VI, 329 Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, FL 33480. Call +1 760 273 4745 or visit