Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Red Ribbon: A donation from Lyn Rothman, a friend of the School

With World AIDS Day soon approaching, it seems opportune to mention a special acquisition that the LSHTM Archive received this September. Following a visit to the archives to view the LSHTM HIV/AIDS collection by Lyn Rothman, the founder of AIDS Crisis Trust and current patron and board member of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, she kindly offered to donate a Red Ribbon pendant designed by her friend, Andrew Logan, the English artist and jewellery-maker.

We received, several weeks later, a parcel containing not only the AIDS Red Ribbon pendant designed by the artist but a note on the pendant from Andrew Logan that Lyn had asked him to write about his creation.

The pendant was designed when the first AIDS ribbons appeared and having seen many of his friends die from AIDS, Andrew felt it was a fitting celebration of their lives.

Polish AIDS awareness poster, c.1990s

The original red ribbon designed by New York-based Visual AIDS Artists Caucus in 1991 as a consciousness raising symbol, not as a commercial or trademark tool, and therefore the original creators wished to remain anonymous and the image is free of copyright.

The first red ribbon worn publicly was by Jeremy Irons at the 1991 Tony Awards and soon became renowned as an international symbol of AIDS awareness, becoming adopted as the symbol of World AIDS Day that same year.

To read more about the history of the Red Ribbon please visit:

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