Elisabeth Koppa, Owner of Valiant Art

Art Business News, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Elisabeth Koppa, Owner of Valiant Art


ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA -- One would not expect to look at the list of companies exhibiting at Artexpo New York and see the name of a gallery from faraway Mongolia, but Elisabeth Koppa of Valiant Art is just that. Her history is as interesting as the country from which she traveled.

It's easy to think of Mongolia as the land of Genghis Khan and the many Mongolian influences that once extended across the largest land empire on Earth. Bordered by Russia and the People's Republic of China and home of the Gobi Desert and mountain steppes, Mongolia was a Soviet Satellite State during most of the 20th century, and it is the largest fully landlocked country in the world.

Koppa's story is a poignant and triumphant tale. Born in Poland and surviving a difficult childhood, Koppa retained the enterprising nature and entrepreneurial spirit from her youth that would launch her into major industries as an adult. As a teenager, she opened her first "real business," a shop and factory that made ladies' handbags. She went on to selling and organizing entertainment for a government agency, modeling, dancing and opening a small restaurant--all before age 26, when she left to seek freedom from the Communist regime.

Koppa's proudest moment came years later when she returned to her homeland to successfully create the first private gramophone company, which she named Polton. Everything she did in the music industry became a first in Poland: the first album, the first Polish CD, the first record with written lyrics of the song, and more. Koppa even went into cartoon film production. Through her dedication, hard work and brilliant business and artistic sense, she changed the face of the music and entertainment industries.

Her involvement in art came at a later date after a courageous battle with breast cancer.

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