The Foundling Museum

photograph of exterior of The foundling Museum
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The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery, and through a dynamic programme of events and exhibitions celebrates the ways in which artists of all disciplines have helped improve children’s lives for over 275 years.

The Foundling Hospital, which continues today as the children’s charity Coram, was established in 1739 by the philanthropist Captain Thomas Coram, as ‘a hospital for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children’. Instrumental in helping Coram realise his vision were the artist, William Hogarth, who encouraged all the leading artists of the day to donate work and the composer, George Frideric Handel, who gave annual benefit concerts of the Messiah. In doing so, they created London’s first public art gallery and set the template for the way that the arts could support philanthropy. The Foundling Museum celebrates their vision and continues their work, by enabling artists, musicians and writers to work alongside vulnerable young people and cast new light on the histories we tell.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Heritage site, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00 - 17.00
Sunday, 11.00 - 17.00
Monday closed

Admission charges

Permanent collection

£8.25* Adults
£5.50* Concessions
£4.25* National Trust members

FREE Children (U16), Foundling Friends & Art Fund members

Permanent collection + exhibition

£10.25* Adults
£7.50* Concessions
£6.25* National Trust members
£2 Art Fund members

FREE Children (U16), Foundling Friends

*Ticket prices include a voluntary Gift Aid donation

Discounts

  • International Council of Museums
  • National Trust
  • National Art Pass
Getting there

Rail: Euston, St Pancras, King’s Cross (10 mins walk)

Tube: Russell Square (2 mins walk) , King’s Cross, St Pancras

Bus: 59, 68, 91, 168, 188 to Southampton Row or Russell Square

17 (not evenings), 45, 46 to Gray’s Inn Road

10, 18, 30, 73 to Euston Road; 19, 38, 55, 243 to Theobalds Road

Additional info

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/visit-us/access/

At the Museum you can see:
* Poignant social history gallery telling the story of London's first home for abandoned children, including personal histories, artefacts, photographs and recordings;
* London's first art gallery featuring works by Hogarth, Rysbrack, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Roubiliac, Hudson, Ramsay and Wilson;
* Fine eighteenth-century, Rococo and Georgian interiors; and
* Gerald Cook Handel collection of Handel memorabilia.

Collection details

Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Music, Personalities, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • London's first children's home
  • Rococo interior
  • Georgian interior
  • Coram
  • Hogarth
  • Rysbrack
  • Gainsborough
  • Reynolds
  • Roubiliac
  • Hudson
  • Ramsay
  • Wilson
  • Handel
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Painting of orphan girls entering the refectory of a hospital

Feeding the 400

  • 23 September 2016 — 8 January 2017 *on now

Based on new research, this exhibition considers a fundamental yet little-examined aspect of life at the Foundling Hospital – food.

Guest curator Jane Levi presents the multi-faceted impact that food and eating regimes had on children at the Hospital from 1740 to 1950. This fascinating story is explored through art, archival material, photographs and the voices of former pupils, whose memories of food are captured in the Museum’s extensive sound archive.

Feeding the 400 explodes myths and misconceptions around eating at the Hospital, demonstrating how the institution’s food choices were far more than just questions of economy, nutrition and health. Working with historians, scientists and cultural practitioners, the exhibition brings alive the connections between what, when, where and why the foundlings ate what they ate; the beliefs and science that underpinned these decisions; and their physiological and psychological effects. Alongside archival material, paintings and objects including tableware from the Foundling Museum collection, a newly commissioned sound work evokes the experience of communal eating, conjuring sounds common to the Hospital’s dining rooms. Feeding the 400 is supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10.25* Adults
£7.50* Concessions
£6.25* National Trust members
£2 Art Fund members

FREE children (U16), Foundling Friends

*Ticket prices include a voluntary Gift Aid donation

Website

http://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/feeding-the-400/

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Family Fun

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/children.php

Children, young people and families are able to explore The Foundling Museum through Trail of the Month, audio trails, story books, creative drop-in sessions and special events. In term time, sessions are held monthly on the first Saturday 13.00-16.00, and during holidays on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10.30-12.30 and 14.00-16.00. Activities are generally suited to children aged 3-12 years.

How to obtain

Arrive early to ensure you get a place. Check the website for full details of events.

Getting there

Rail: Euston, St Pancras, King’s Cross (10 mins walk)

Tube: Russell Square (2 mins walk) , King’s Cross, St Pancras

Bus: 59, 68, 91, 168, 188 to Southampton Row or Russell Square

17 (not evenings), 45, 46 to Gray’s Inn Road

10, 18, 30, 73 to Euston Road; 19, 38, 55, 243 to Theobalds Road

The Foundling Museum
40 Brunswick Square
London
Greater London
WC1N 1AZ
England

Website

www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk

E-mail

enquiries@foundlingmuseum.org.uk

Telephone

020 7841 3600

Fax

020 7841 3607

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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