Women In Art

To celebrate my 10 years anniversary, I am very proud to put the spotlight on 3 modern women from the art world - Katharina Garbers von Boehm, Marta Gnyp and Diandra Donecker. Three very different, but inspiring women, with a common passion for art and an extraordinary career. Therefore it’s an honor they have accepted to participate to this very special ‘Women in Art’ project shot by Yves Borgwardt as featured in VOGUE Germany.


What is your biggest daily challenge?
Some days, a great many things happen at once, all of which need immediate attention. It is challenging, but I honestly love the flow when the days are too short. The most important thing is to keep a cool head and remain calm. That gives a sense of control.

Is it still difficult to be taken seriously as a woman working in the art industry in 2021?
I rarely encounter real male chauvinism anymore; a lot has changed in the past 10 to 15 years. My status as a lawyer perhaps also helps me to be taken seriously in the art world. I try to counter the machoism that can sometimes still be found in the legal world with humor.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Fortunately, there have been a great many highlights and also very different levels of happiness. Intellectually, I particularly enjoy when a deep understanding of an issue allows me to come up with good, creative solutions. Winning a case is of course also exhilarating when it leads to acknowledgement from clients. And I get a warm feeling inside when projects that I have been working on long and hard in the background become public; so, when an important sculpture is erected in a public space and finally unveiled following lengthy negotiations or a controversial collection can be shown in a museum, for example. To know that I helped to make this moment a reality.

What is the secret to your success?
I love getting my teeth into a tough case. People say that I’m pretty fast. I’m good at putting myself in my counterpart’s position, whether they’re the client or the adversary, and I often wake up thinking about the big picture. That certainly helps.

How does the art world of the future look?

Have you noticed a change due to the pandemic and digitalization?
I have been working on aspects of digitalization in art since 2004. Very little happened for a surprisingly long time. The pandemic has prompted innovations that were long in the making. It is nice for me because now I can share my experience in intellectual property and IT law with the art world, and my two areas of work have suddenly come together.

What is your favorite memory of your jewelry by Ina Beissner?
I love my ear cuff by Ina Beissner because it is also great for classic looks. It was a spontaneous buy to treat myself after a particularly intense week at work.

MARTA GNYP, Gallery Owner & Author

What do you rely on most in your work?
Expertise, detail control, and intuition.

What is important to you when purchasing art?
A work of art’s potential to be of lasting, art historical significance, socially relevant and, ideally, financially valuable.

What advice would you give aspiring collectors?
Visit as many museums and galleries as you can, ask as many questions as possible, buy a work of art and live with it – only then will you discover your personal taste and how important, enriching and exciting it is to collect art. An art collection is not only a reflection of our times in a collective sense, but also an expression of a collector’s personality; their ideas, hopes, fears, and dreams.

What has working in the art industry taught you?
Studying art history allowed me wonderful encounters with art as a social and historical phenomenon. I conducted an in-depth analysis of the art market for my doctoral thesis. But the real work starts when you have to make decisions yourself, judge what is good and why, and take risks.

What is the secret to your success?
Total commitment and luck. The former is entirely in your hands; the latter, you simply have to hope for!

What is your relationship with special pieces of jewelry?
Special pieces of jewelry – for me, especially rings – feel like a part of the body. The nice thing about rings is that I can also always see and enjoy them myself.

DIANDRA DONECKER, Partner & Managing Director at Grisebach.

Did you always want to work in the art industry?
I had always wanted to study art history. I found the combination of history and art as a medium utterly fascinating. It was also clear to me early on that I wanted to combine art and the markets, art and demand, art and trade. The pleasure of beholding, of collecting, and also that a work of art can have its price appealed to me. I enjoy working with people, getting out and about, and travelling, too – this mix is what attracts me and continues to nourish me to this day!

What has working in the art industry taught you?
Flexibility, openness, internationality, discipline, team spirit, and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

Did/do people underestimate you because of your age?
Absolutely! A 29-year-old woman running one of the most important auction houses in the German-speaking world (2019) ... That was quite a surprise for some colleagues ... But being underestimated has its advantages. Ultimately, it is the results that count, and the trust and confidence in one another. Today, I can look back with a smile on many an awkward remark or raised eyebrows.

What is the secret to your success?
Authenticity, kindness, courage, self-confidence and a little luck.

How important do you believe art is during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Art is always important. And the more difficult the times, the more important art becomes. Art also means reflecting on the world, on oneself as a human within the real world with all its challenges and doubts. Art as a focal point and space for reflection.
Our delight when museums and galleries reopened proved that art is enjoyed, loved and needed – and that life without art is possible, but pointless. Both in good times and in difficult times.

How will digitalization change the art industry?
Art is becoming more accessible and less elitist. At the same time, sensible reflection is needed on how art can continue to be seen and experienced when you can no longer behold the original first-hand. This is a challenge for mediation. Because at the end of the day, art is all about the experience – and this includes all of the sensory experiences you can have in front of a work of art. And nothing is better than the original! What I appreciate about digital advances is the dynamism and openness, transparency and “democratization”.

Which is your favorite piece of jewelry?
The watch that my beloved grandfather gave me when I graduated: a Cartier Tank. I have not been a single day without it for almost 15 years now.