London Pride: John Maynard Keynes’ blue plaque transformed to rainbow
The blue plaque which sits on what is now Birkbeck’s School of Arts, indicating economist Keynes lived there from 1916-46, has been given a temporary rainbow makeover in celebration of the two week Pride Festival in London.
The blue plaque which sits on what is now Birkbeck’s School of Arts, indicating John Maynard Keynes lived there from 1916-46, has been given a temporary rainbow makeover in celebration of the two week Pride Festival in London.
Keynes, who was bisexual, is widely considered to be Britain’s most influential economist. His best-known work, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, was published in 1936, and became a benchmark for future economic thought.
Other significant figures who have had their blue plaques transformed to rainbow for the duration of the Pride Festival are computer scientist Alan Turing, soldier and poet Siegfried Sassoon and choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton.
Whilst the work of these notable individuals has been marked as part of British history, their LGBT+ status may be lesser known, particularly in view of the less accepting times they lived in.
John Treacy, Executive Creative Director of Proximity London, said: “It’s a simple idea to celebrate who these amazing people really were, beyond just recognising what they did. And a chance to talk about something that, in nearly all these cases, was never talked about at the time."
London’s blue plaques are managed by English Heritage, and aim to link the people of the past with the buildings of the present. The London blue plaques scheme was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world. Across the capital over 900 plaques honour the notable men and women who lived or worked in them.