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90th birthday of Richard Demarco

Published: 09 Jul 2020

Richard Demarco

Today marks the 90th birthday of impresario, educator, innovator, visionary, catalyst, Professor Richard Demarco CBE.

Richard has worked throughout his life helping artists find recognition, including world famous names in contemporary art such as Joseph Beuys, Tadeusz Kantor, Paul Neagu and Scotland's own Margaret Tait, who were all introduced to audiences throughout the United Kingdom for the first time as a result of Richard's belief in their integrity and skill as artists.

Documenting the work of 1,000s of international artists and their experiences in Scotland, the Demarco Archive is arguably the most extraordinary independent chronicle of the world's greatest arts festival: The Edinburgh Festival.

Read the wonderful and colourful tribute to Richard, written by Clare Walker and published in the Herald earlier this year.

The restrictions brought by COVID-19 have meant Richard's original plans for a public birthday celebration have been delayed until later this year. However, he has instead reached out online for all of his friends, artists and admirers of his archive to submit their writings, poems, photographs, collages, sketches or paintings in dedication to him. These will be published today at demarcoarchive.com as a permanent digital birthday card.

Last year Richard's immense personal archive was critically damaged in a flood. Watch the world premiere of filmmaker Dr Marco Federici’s documentary “Rico” charting his incredible career and fight to keep the archive intact.

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland

"We’re delighted to be celebrating the 90th birthday of Richard Demarco – a leading figure in the cultural life of the nation. Richard has made a remarkable contribution to the arts and has worked with some of the world’s leading artists. In particular, we congratulate him on his profound commitment to working without borders and being a resolute internationalist. Richard - your vision, energy and passion for the arts continues to inspire and motivate us all, and we look forward to continuing our work with you into the future."

For more information about Richard and the Demarco Archive, please go to: