Park West Gallery Auctioneer Spotlight: Henry-John Kruth
At Park West, we hear it all the time—our collectors love our onboard Art Teams!
That’s why, every month, we take time to highlight one of our most enthusiastic, entertaining, and dedicated auctioneers. In this spotlight, we invite you to meet Henry-John Kruth, who has been sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for art with Park West collectors since 2016.
Kruth says, “I believe you really need to love what you do. One of the best parts of our role on cruise ships is being able to share the enjoyment of the world of art with thousands of people every month.”
Kruth has an interesting story on how his previous job as a teacher paved the way for him to become a Park West auctioneer. Read all about him here!
Previous ships as an auctioneer: Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas, Holland America Amsterdam, Carnival Dream, Carnival Sunshine, Island Princess, Norwegian Pearl
Current ship: Grand Princess
Where is your hometown?
Henry-John: Cape Town, South Africa
When did you start working as an international art auctioneer on cruise ships?
Henry-John: My path to joining Park West is vastly different than most. I completed my college studies and received a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Psychology, which led me to become a high school teacher for six years following graduation. Throughout my schooling, I was drawn toward art enrichment and one of my favorite subjects was Ancient Cultures and Art, and that fascination carried on with me through my years of teaching. My love for art developed even more during this time, and after talking to two of my high school friends who were working with Park West, I got in touch with the gallery. The rest is history. I began working with Park West in January 2016, and it’s the best decision I have ever made!
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Henry-John: Yaacov Agam and Joan Miró are two artists that really stand out to me. These individuals both overcame great obstacles to follow their dreams of becoming artists, and have become integral figures in the development of art over the years. It is amazing that Agam innovatively created an entirely new way to perceive art, and Miró was named the “most surreal of us all” by Andre Breton, the founder of Surrealism.
Do you have a favorite client memory?
Henry-John: We had a couple really show their love for artwork! A young couple attended a few of our auctions, and midway through the cruise, the man arranged with us to plan his proposal in our gallery. It was an exciting moment. The whole team was involved in deciding on a special artwork for him to collect, which he then used as his “ring” to propose. (He eventually also gave her an actual ring.)
Out of all the places you’ve traveled, where is your favorite port?
Henry-John: Every port is so unique, so it’s difficult to choose one! In Port Canaveral, one of my greatest memories is the first time I went skydiving.
What does life look like when you’re home and not working?
Henry-John: I always get excited to go home because my dog is there anxiously waiting for me to walk through the door. My family and friends also celebrate a tradition of getting together for a “braai,” a South African version of a barbeque, the first night I’m home.
Tell us one thing about living and working at sea that would surprise most people.
Henry-John: Most of the time, the people you meet are even more special than all of the amazing places you get to visit. You would also never think you would start to miss driving, but I have! However, spending two days in city traffic once you’re home usually helps you to not miss it very quickly.
Learn more about Park West’s world-class auctioneer program: