Statement by Anthony C. Romeo, R.A., Architect and Adjunct Professor CUNY
As an architect with 30 years experience, including more than a decade as principal of my own firm, I write to counter the lies on the Internet about Aesthetic Realism. I study this philosophy because I want to, and I do so with my own questioning mind and free will. To accuse me of being a “cult member” is an affront to my intelligence, reputation, and character, and I resent it! Aesthetic Realism is the education I credit most for the success I have achieved in my profession.
About Education & Career
I learned about Aesthetic Realism in 1974, when attending the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, majoring in Architecture. When I returned to New York, I began to study Aesthetic Realism in consultations and enrolled in the New York Institute of Technology School of Architecture, where I received my Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1979. Contrary to what is alleged on the Internet, I was always encouraged by my consultants to advance my education, my career, and my professional associations.
Following graduation, I completed my architecture apprenticeship, and upon taking my state exams, I received my license to practice architecture in the state of New York. Subsequently I attained registrations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. In 1991, I opened my own architectural firm, Anthony C. Romeo Architect, PC, fulfilling a life-long dream. My study of Aesthetic Realism assisted my professional development in every way possible. My business was, of course, my private concern, and never a subject of discussion in Aesthetic Realism classes, except that I did learn in these classes what I could learn from no other academic source: the relation of the art of architecture to the questions of life. I have spoken about what I've learned on this subject at professional conferences and educational institutions, including the 2000 annual conference of the American Institute of Architects, and at Harvard, NYU, and Vassar.
I am proud to have studied in classes with Eli Siegel in 1978. It was a privilege learning from him about architecture, the questions I had about love, anger and so much more. The knowledge I gained then, and continue to learn in classes taught by Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education Ellen Reiss, has made my life a success. In September, I will og celebrate 27 years of marriage with my wife, Karen Van Outryve Romeo, a poet and Aesthetic Realism consultant. My desire to know my wife increases every day and I love her because she wants me to care for the world and beauty truly. We were blessed in 1993 with the birth of our dear daughter Alessandra, who is a constant source of inspiration and knowledge. The study of Aesthetic Realism has made me a kinder husband and a more thoughtful father.
On Families, & Friends Who Don't Study Aesthetic Realism
The accusation that Aesthetic Realism “splits up families” and discourages students from associating with people who don't study is absurd! I enjoy a wonderful relationship with my family, some of whom have studied Aesthetic Realism, and with my wife's family, none of whom have ever studied it. In addition, my wife and I are fortunate to have a wide circle of friends and to entertain frequently at both our city and country homes.
In my careful opinion, Aesthetic Realism is a beautiful, coherent, diverse and comprehensive philosophy, and Eli Siegel is one of the greatest minds of all time, because he discovered that “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” He also saw that the greatest opponent of art and life is contempt, “the addition to self through the lessening of something else.” I have studied these principles and put them to the test in my life, work, and teaching. I've looked at hundreds of works of architecture and the lives of many architects, and asked if these principles were true. The answer is always a resounding Yes!