Siramdasu Venkata Rama Rao
Gudiwada, Andhra Pradesh, India
Known forArt
AwardsPadma Shri
Lord Croft Award
The Most Outstanding Artist in the Commonwealth

Siramdasu Venkata Rama Rao (born 1936) is a British painter[1][2] of Indian descent,[3] known for his cubist paintings.[4] Holder of Commonwealth Fellowship of 1962,[4] he was honored by the Government of India, in 2001, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.[5]


Rao, whose father was a wood carver and, later, builder,[4][6][7] was born in Gudiwada,[3] in the South India state of Andhra Pradesh, in 1936,[2][8][9] His graduate studies were in Accounting and Banking in which he graduated from Andhra University in 1955.[6] During this period, he studied art under the tutelage of K. Venugopal[7] and later, under K Srinivasulu[3] and secured a government diploma in Fine Arts in 1955[6] from Kalakshetra, Chennai. On the insistence of the progressive art director of the institution, Madhavapeddi Gokhale,[7] he joined Madras School of Arts and Crafts, present day Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai for advanced training[4][9] and passed a Fine Arts degree course in 1959.[6] Simultaneously, he studied Economics and secured a second graduate degree from Andhra University.[6]

His association with the renowned painter, K. C. S. Paniker, in Chennai, assisted him in his growth[3][6][7] and he moved to New Delhi in 1959 under a Government of India research fellowship where he stayed till 1962.[6] On receiving a Commonwealth Fellowship that year,[3] Rao migrated to UK[4] and studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts, University of London till 1965[6] under William Coldstream.[9] The next two years were spent at London County Council as a teacher of painting and drawing.[6][9] Later, in 1967, he shifted to US and passed the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) course from the University of Cincinnati in 1969 and concurrently taught at the university as a teaching assistant,[9] a post he held till 1969.[6] The next move was to Western Kentucky University as the professor of fine arts.[6][9] Later, he moved his base to Chicago.[4]

Rao's lithographs are found in the collections of Herbert Reed, Tate Gallery, London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.[7] Some of his exhibitions have been co-hosted by renowned modern painters such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Georges Braque and Salvador Dalí[4][7] and his paintings are sold by art auctioneers such as Bonhams[1] and Rosebury's Fine Arts Auctioneers.[2] His paintings are displayed at:[3][6][7]

Rao, who is also credited with publications on art and poetry,[4][10] is married to Suguna and the couple has a daughter, Padmavathi, a known classical dancer of Bharatanatyam.[6] He returned to India[6] in 2003 and pursues his work there.[4]

Awards and recognitions

Rama Rao received the Lord Croft Award in 1962.[3][7][9] Three years later, he was selected as The Most Outstanding Artist in the Commonwealth by the Second Commonwealth Biennial of Abstract Art Exhibition, held in London in 1965.[6] A doctorate (DLitt, Honoris Causa) holder from the Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad, Rao's biography is featured in the Outstanding Educators of America and Washington DC publication.[6] The Government of India honoured him with the civilian award of Padma Shri in 2001.[6][7][9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Bonhams". Bonhams. 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Mutual Art". Mutual Art. 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "The Hindu". The Hindu. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Indian Express". Indian Express. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Padma Awards. 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Lyra Technologies" (PDF). Lyra Technologies. 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Frontline". Frontline. June 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  8. ^ 1 artwork by or after Siramdasu Venkata Rama Rao, Art UK. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Akhila Bharata Padmashali Sangam". Akhila Bharata Padmashali Sangam. 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  10. ^ Siramdasu Venkata Rama Rao (1970). The Paintings of the Author. University of Cincinnati.