Cav. Romeo Di Girolamo PPRBA Hon.RBSA Hon.WSA Hon.BAS Hon.BAF NDD
Senior Member

Biographical Details:

Born in Civitella Casanova, Italy in 1939. He graduated from High Wycombe School of Art in 1959. At seventeen Romeo began exhibiting at the RBA and was elected to full membership at just twenty-three. At nineteen he made his debut at the Royal Academy where in the early sixties his large industrial landscapes brought him international acclaim. In 1959 his work was chosen for a major exhibition at Olympia featuring only eighteen artists including LS Lowry, Henry Moore and Stanley Spencer.

In 1967 the Federation of British Artists honoured Romeo by mounting a one man exhibition. In the same year he received the La Voce Award for outstanding Anglo Italian personality of the year. In 1978 the Italian Government conferred on him a knighthood, the title of Cavaliere OMRI for his outstanding achievements.

Romeo has won numerous prizes and scholarships including a Royal Academy Travelling Scholarship, the Buckinghamshire Architectural Drawing Competition [twice], the Buckinghamshire Art Scholarship for three years, and the Granada Theatres National Painting Prize. Recent successes include the De Laszlo Medal, the Italia Award, the Winsor and Newton prize, the Coley and Tilley prize, the Fabrica prize and the UBS award.

Romeo has been made an Honorary member of several prestigious societies including the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. Most recently the Wolverhampton Society of Artists changed their rules so they could grant Romeo their first ever Honorary Membership. Romeo has had a number of one man shows, taken part in numerous mixed shows and featured in several exhibitions arranged under the patronage of the Italian Embassy, including a retrospective held at Grosvenor Square.

In addition to Romeơ̛s success as a painter he has had a distinguished career in art and design education having been Head of department in Secondary, Grammar and Comprehensive Schools. He progressed to Lecturer, Senior Lecturer Principal Lecturer and at thirty-six, Head of School of Art and Design. Under his leadership restructure and expansion swiftly followed, as did a national reputation and visits by the Prime Minister. His initiatives in education earned him a place on regional and national committees including IRSCADE.

Since his early retirement in 1989 Romeo has served as an external consultant to a number of educational establishments and validating bodies. He has assisted the Sir William Ramsay School, the Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School and Astor School to achieve Arts College Status. He is proud to have played a major role in assisting Northbrook College in Worthing to become a main provider of Degree courses in Art and Design. Romeo has been chairman of the Queens Park Governing Body and served on a number of governing bodies including representing Buckinghamshire County Council on the Berkshire College of Art and Design Governing body. He was elected on to the Council of the Royal Society of British Artists, appointed Trustee and in 1989 elected President, subsequently serving on the Governing body of the Federation of British Artists.

After serving three terms of office totalling eleven years as President of the Royal Society of British Artists during which Romeo introduced a comprehensive education policy and spearheaded seven National Student̛̛s Exhibitions, he decided not to stand for a fourth term of office in order to devote time to a new initiative to encourage young artists. He was recently appointed by Daler Rowney to chair an international panel of judges to judge a worldwide competition to celebrate their 175th anniversary.

In the early seventies he was elected Honorary Secretary and subsequently Chairman of the Anglo Italian Football Association. Always a keen participating sportsman he won honours in athletics, boxing and football and successfully managed two football clubs. Romeo recently had the honour of being appointed Patron of the Arts in Healthcare for the East Sussex Hospital Trust.

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