The Keynes Library
The School of Arts has a beautifully refurbished room to commemorate one of the building's most famous residents - the celebrated economist, John Maynard Keynes.
46 Gordon Square was home to Vanessa and Virginia Stephen (both would later become famous as the artist Vanessa Bell and the writer Virginia Woolf) in the first decade of the 20th Century and when they moved, the building was occupied by Keynes. In 1925 he married the Russian Lydia Lopokova, a prima ballerina in the Diaghilev company. She moved in 1948 to Cambridge, but her housekeeper still lived in the basement flat as late as the early 1970s.
Now home to Birkbeck’s School of Arts, we are proud to remember the building’s heritage with a striking nineteenth century library named in honour Keynes. After decades of use as a teaching facility, the room has been refurbished to its former glory following a gift from Birkbeck alumna, Patsy Hickman.
In keeping with the property’s strong artistic and intellectual connections, paintings by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant have been loaned to Birkbeck by Bell’s daughter, Angelica Garnett, and currently grace the walls of the Keynes Library.