Scott Diament: From Bagel Boy to Emperor of the Fair
Elizabeth Sobieski (Huffington Post)

McCall Fine Art at the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show
William Cook Antiques at the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show

"There's never been a company like this company, built like this company.... I really believe that over the years it is going to be a legitimate competitor to the major auction houses. The Palm Beach Show Group will be up there when you talk about where you buy antiques: 'I buy at Sotheby's, I buy at Christie's and I buy at the Palm Beach Show Group'." -Scott Diament


In just eleven years, businessman/gemologist/entrepreneur Scott Diament has become the reigning emperor of high end fairs, the owner and operator of ten fine art, antique and jewelry fairs in the United States, all featuring distinguished international exhibitors. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people attend, hundreds of millions of dollars change hands.

In January, I witnessed Diament cleverly move the pathway to the exit of the Los Angeles Art Show, his only fair that is primarily contemporary art based, past the booths of his adjoining jewelry show, thereby shepherding art patrons through the lavish jewelry display when they finished art admiring. Over 60,000 attended that four-day event at the downtown Convention Center.

At the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show in February, I watched the installation of a myriad of temporary partition walls in grey, blue, beige, peach, mauve and white and observed Diament calmly and with great finesse, handle (I'm sure the usual) complaints about lighting, booth size and placement, and some exhibitors missing planes due to northern snowstorms. This is a man who excels at conflict resolution and is a seasoned schmoozer. I saw him, the father of two young boys, personally test a stroller, helping an Australian vender stabilize it for her child. He directed the construction team, requesting that two men carry a pole rather than one. He greeted exhibitors as items arrived at their booths including a painting by Jean Dufy, an art nouveau Lalique pendent, shining blades from turbine jets, lacquered Asian boxes, Persian rugs, 18th century Swedish armchairs, and fifty million year old fossils. Every possible space on the Palm Beach County Convention Center floor had been requisitioned. Procul Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale' was playing, competing with deafening drills and electric saws. All would be immaculate the next night at the private preview party, as champagne and hors d'oeuvres were served to elite collectors.

Jean Dufy: 'La Passerelle des Arts', circa 1955, oil on canvas, 13x16 inches Childs Gallery
'Destroyer Hires', Hatchwell Antiques
'Magma' by Bahram Shabahang, hand-knotted pure wool carpet, 10'x14' Orley Shabahang Carpets

Many of Diament's exhibitors are regulars. Miami estate jewelry dealer Steven Neckman told me that he has shown at almost all of Diament's shows in various cities since the first Palm Beach fair eleven years ago. Diament explains that he deals with, "1500 exhibitors at our events....and thousands of moving pieces!" In South Florida, he maintains 25,000 square feet of storage space holding complete wall systems, carpeting, and lighting. Enormous trailers are also part of his holdings. 

Read Full Article on Huffington Post Website:
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