Catharine J. Nicely studied fine art, art history and German literature in New York (Syracuse University), Florence, Mainz and Kiel. Besides Art and Literature, the American, who came in 1991 with two suitcases to Berlin, has been fascinated with the German culture and language since childhood.

Through the intense interest in family history, searching the roots of the "family tree", which included a family coat of arms, she became especially aware of the family motto of the Palm family: "IN ADVERSIS VIRTUS " (brave and courageous in adverse circumstances). She also discovered that Johann Philipp Palm, the printer and publisher who distributed the pamphlet against Napoleon, "Germany at its deepest humiliation", subsequently executed by Napoleon, is related to her. As a stranger in a big city one always has to fight all odds, as a person, and especially as a passionate publisher (with a lot of heart and soul). As a symbol of returning to the roots of her own "family tree" and as a commemoration of her Swabian ancestors who emigrated to America, she named her publishing company, founded in 2008, PalmArtPress.

Since 2011, PalmArtPress found new grounds at Pfalzburger Str 69, becoming a unique venue for art and literature enthusiasts in Berlin-Wilmersdorf where exhibitions, readings, presentations and concerts take place.