Who are some well known Romanian Americans


Even though “La Chunga” is known worldwide as a Flamenco dancer (and Flamenco artists are not included in this webpage), her mention here is as a Romany painter. Grown-up in Barcelona, she was first a talented dancer since her childhood, and later she began to paint by spontaneous inspiration. Her “shining naïf” style was praised by Picasso, who said of her: “How can it be possible that a Gipsy girl without studies expresses such a sensibility and colours in her paintings...”.  She has also featured as cinema actress. She has been awarded the Golden Medal of the Fine Arts Circle of Madrid, and other prizes.



David Beeri

Born Károly Pongor Beri, he is a Rom artist that has created his own spiritual style of modern painting, that results of combining surrealism, expressionism, cubism and other trends according to his own rules. His works have been presented in many exhibitions, mainly  in Hungary, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Japan and the USA.


Tamás Péli was the first Hungarian Rom that graduated as a professional painter, at the National Art Academy of Amsterdam. His works are acknowledged worldwide and considered among the masterpieces of visual arts. He has handed down his passion among Roma, teaching his art to a group of disciples, and has inspired the following generations of Roma artists.


Antonio Solario
(Civita in Abruzzo, around 1465 - 1530)

Born in Abruzzo, where Roma settlements are among the earliest ones in Italy. Known as “Lo Zingaro” (The Gypsy), he was at first a traveller smith, following his father's tradition. Solario was a Renaissance painter of the Neapolitan school, but he studied in Bologna, Venice, Florence and Rome. Back in Naples, he became the most recognized painter in his time. A naturalist, his background landscapes were better accomplished than those of his contemporaries. His best known work is a series of twenty frescoes in the monastery of San Severino.


Born in a family of Gypsy musicians, János Balázs excelled in painting and poetry. His creative art is unique and mysterious, rich in colours, and conveys the expression of the deepest feelings of both Hungarian and Romany cultures. Even though he began his artistic career in his latter years, he has achieved a place among the greatest painters of the 20th century.


Painter, visual artist, poet and political activist. Proud of his Andalusian Romany identity, he was a major representative of the Spanish graphic art, which was an expression of his revolutionary ideas for social justice. During the Spanish civil war he enlisted a Gypsy Cavalry division to defend the Republic. Forced to exile, he settled in France, Belgium, Germany and the Soviet Union, where he participated in several expositions. Imprisoned in French concentration camps from 1939 to 1942, he returned back to Spain and continued both his artistic and political activities, for which he was imprisoned several years.




Ceija Stojka

Born Margarethe Stojka in a family of Lovari Roma, traditionally horse-traders. Being a child she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau as well as her whole family; then she was transferred to different concentration camps until she was liberated from Bergen-Belsen. Then Ceija decided to study and became a writer; her first book was the first literary work about the Holocaust written by a Romni. She was also a self-taught painter and her works have been presented in exhibitions. She has published also a collection of poetry.


Storyteller and writer, Kalitsch was the only member of his family that survived after having been deported to Auschwitz, where he lost his first wife and three children. Then he married his wife's sister and rebuilt himself a family. With his accounts he has awakened the Austrian people to the existence of the minority groups and has contributed to keep alive the Romany dialect of Burgenland.


Valdemar Kalinin

Veijo Baltzar

Philomena Franz

Born in a Sinti family of musicians, in her youth she was a folk singer and dancer in a theatre company. Then she was sent to Auschwitz and transferred to other concentration camps, from which survived but having lost her family. She became a writer and in 1995 she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz, that is the highest civil honour conferred in Germany.




Patricio Kassimati Hearn (Yakumo Koizumi)(Levkás, Greece, 27/6/1850 - Okubo, Japan, 26/9/1904)

Poet, journalist, translator and language teacher, belonged to the Heron Romanichel family. Educated in Ireland, England and France, in 1889 settled in Japan and married the daughter of a traditional Samurai family. Since 1895 he is known under his Japanese name Yakumo Koizumi. He was the author of several books about Japan and its culture, and was teacher of English literature at the Imperial University of Tokyo and at Waseda University.


Olga Pankova
(Sankt-Petersburg, 1911 - Moscow, 1983)

A niece of Nikolay Pankov, she began her career writing for the journal Novyi Put'. She also translated Puškin's prose and poetry into Romany. She was the author of a collection of verses titled “Amaré Divesa” (Our Days), published in Moscow in 1933, which was the first Romany literary work written by a woman.


Nina Aleksandrovna Dudarova
(Sankt-Petersburg, 1903 - Moscow, 1977)




Elena Lacková
(Veľký Šariš, Czechoslovakia, 22/3/1921 - Košice, 1/1/2003)





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