Eleanor Worthington (York, UK, 1982 – Urbino, Italy, 2008) suffered lifelong from a severe form of epilepsy and learning and behavioural difficulties, and spent her last five years immobile and confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak, and only expressing herself with her eyes and face. Beyond her disabilities, she was a person of high intelligence and sensibility, and with a great force of personality. She succeeded in having a life full of affection, social relations, and experiences, both in the UK and in Italy, where she attended all the years of the Istituto Statale d’Arte (now Liceo Artistico) in Urbino.


Eleanor’s family, friends and school wanted to transform her individual story into a collective experience, with the aim of raising public consciousness of the issue of disability. To this end, they instituted the “Eleanor Worthington Prize”, run in collaboration with the Liceo Artistico Scuola del Libro (previously: Istituto Statale d’Arte), Urbino, and with the patronage of the Urbino Local Authority.

The Istituto Statale d’Arte, a school which teaches expressive techniques relating to visual communication, was Eleanor’s school for many years, and there she found a welcoming atmosphere and attitude in the teachers, support staff and her school fellows.
The Urbino Local AuthorityComune di Urbino supported the prize right from the start, providing hospitality in the halls of the Collegio Raffaello, technical support, and a financial contribution.

The competition privileges the language of visual communication, and in its first three years it explored the theme “Tolerance and Capability”; in 2009 and 2010 it was held in the sections of Advertising Graphic Design and Publishing Graphic Design, respectively. The tasks were to produce a poster and the cover of the book “Eleanor”. In 2012 it was open to the students in the school’s Animation section, who presented story boards.


From October 28th to November 10th 2015 the retrospective exhibition of the first six years of the Prize has been held at the Sale del Castellare in Urbino. The exhibition has been curated by Nunzia Invernizzi, artistic director of the Prize, and by Andrea Passanisi and Loretta Vandi, who teach at the Liceo Artistico /Scuola del Libro in Urbino. Visual designers Pier Paolo Ceccarini and Flavio Urbinati.

Several people spoke at the opening of the exhibition, held in the Serra d'Inverno of the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino: Lucia Ciampi, in charge of education policy for the Urbino local authority; Bianca Marrè, headteacher of the Liceo Artistico/Scuola del Libro in Urbino; Barbara Tognazzi, Università Carlo Bo in Urbino; Lino di Ventura, of the Società Gruppo Analitico Italiano, Roma; Miriam Gualandri, of the  Centro Francesca in Urbino; Loretta Vandi, who teaches at the Liceo Artistico /Scuola del Libro in Urbino.

Comments by the visitors have been most appreciative, both in the properly exhibiting section, which included the book “Eleanor”, and various pieces of work produced over the years by students of the Liceo Artistico/Scuola del Libro in  Urbino; and in the multimedial section, with video mapping of the works submitted over the years by all the Licei Artistici of the Marche Region which over the years have taken part in the Prize competition, i.e. the Licei Artistici Apolloni in Fano, Mengaroni in Pesaro, Licini in Porto San Giorgio, Preziotti in Fermo, Cantalamessa in Macerata, Mannucci in Fabriano and Mannucci in Jesi.  In addition to the video mapping, two due QRs allowed to download the text of the book "Eleanor"  in Italian and in English. There were more than 700 visitors, who left very appreciative comments aand suggestions for future cooperation and for ways of making the submitted works better known.

Films on the retrospective exhibition are available:




for additional information write to: ìinfo@premioeleanor.it