Richard Demarco

1930 -

Artist and influential arts impresario. Born in Portobello, where his family ran an art deco cafe on the promenade, Demarco. He trained at the Edinburgh College of Art. Demarco's work has featured in numerous exhibitions, as well as being represented in at least 1500 public and private collections including the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Edinburgh and Aberdeen Art Galleries.

He helped found the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in 1963 and went on to form the Richard Demarco Gallery three years later, which mounted exhibitions from international artists until it closed in 1992 due to financial difficulties. He was also responsible for the Demarco European Art Foundation noted for promoting cross-cultural links.

Since 1966, Demarco has amassed a vast collection of paintings and photographs, including a photographic record of 57 Edinburgh festivals. No stranger to controversy, he has challenged the organisers of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe over quality and got into a battle with Edinburgh Council over unpaid rent for offices in New Parliament House where the collection was stored. It now has a permanent home at Summerhall.

From 1993, Demarco has served as Professor of European Cultural Studies at Kingston University (London). He was awarded an OBE (1985), a CBE (2007) and has also been honoured by the governments of Italy and Poland.

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