The gallery Cermak-Eisenkraft was founded in 2014 with the ambition of becoming a leading dealer in post-war and contemporary Czech and international art. The company’s founders, Tomáš Zapletal and David Železný, who were independently active on the Czech art market before the brand was established, set themselves the goal of creating a company of international repute whose unsurpassed standards will contribute to cultivating the art market in the Czech Republic.
The founders of the gallery took its name from the recent history of their families as an expression of traditional and conservative values. Tomáš Zapletal’s forebears include Anton Cermak, the celebrated mayor of Chicago (1873 Kladno – 1933 Miami). Cermak was a man who earned renown through his honesty, unyielding character and for bringing many gangsters to justice, including the best-known of them all – Al Capone. Cermak was an eminent politician after whom one of Chicago’s main squares is named, and he died after being hit by an assassin’s bullet during an attempt to kill President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. While being taken to hospital, he uttered the memorable words: ‘I am glad it was me instead of you.’
The name of Eisenkraft is the original Jewish name of David Železný’s family. The last person to bear the name was his grandfather Tordes (Teodor) Eisenkraft (1916 Těšín – 1991 Prague), one of the heroes of the Second World War who took part in the toughest fighting at Sokolov with the army of General Ludvík Svoboda. He was seriously injured in the fighting but miraculously survived. He was given numerous awards for valour, including the Czechoslovak War Cross.