The Foundling Museum

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.

Established in 1739 by philanthropist Thomas Coram, and continuing today as the children’s charity Coram, the Hospital was set up as an institution ‘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 leading artists of the day to donate work, and the composer George Frideric Handel, who gave annual benefit concerts of his Messiah. Through a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events, we celebrate their vision and the ways in which artists and children have inspired each other for over 275 years.

Discover the intriguing story behind this important London institution and the children who grew up there, alongside original period interiors, poignant artefacts and inspiring art. Pick up a unique, artist-designed souvenir in our Shop, or relax in our Café, offering a delicious selection of teas, coffees, cakes and light lunches.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

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

Admission charges

£8.25* Adults
£5.50* Concessions

FREE Children (U16), Foundling Friends

An additional nominal charge applies for exhibitions (FREE for children & 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
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Emma Brownlow, The Foundling Restored to its Mother, 1858 © Coram in the care of The Foundling Museum, featuring illustration of Hetty Feather © Nick Sharratt

Picturing Hetty Feather

  • 26 May — 3 September 2017 *on now

Since the first Hetty Feather book was published in 2008, Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s series of novels has delighted young audiences with the adventures of its eponymous heroine, the spirited Victorian foundling Hetty Feather. Selling millions of copies, the books have led to an Olivier Award-nominated stage show and BAFTA-nominated CBBC television series. For her Foundling Fellowship at the Museum, Wilson researched the history of the Foundling Hospital and developed the character of Hetty Feather, a girl who uses imaginative storytelling or, as she calls it, ‘picturing’ to deal with life’s challenges.

Picturing Hetty Feather explores the ways in which curators, writers, directors and designers have used historical evidence and factual gaps to bring the nineteenth-century Foundling Hospital to life. On display will be props and original costumes from the CBBC Hetty Feather television set, alongside unseen treasures from the Foundling Hospital Collection and archive. Visitors will be able to try on costumes made for the CBBC production and take part in a range of interactive activities.

This immersive exhibition will transport visitors of all ages to the Foundling Hospital, inviting them to discover their own ‘picturing’ abilities in relation to the Foundling Hospital story, and imagine what life was like for Hetty and the real-life foundling children.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • 11-13
  • 16-17
  • 5-6
  • 18+
  • 14-15
  • 7-10

Admission

Free for children (U16)
Adults £10.25 (£9.50 without Gift Aid)
Concessions £7.50 (£7 without Gift Aid)

Website

http://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/picturing-hetty-feather/

Child and artist at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Hetty's Hospital

  • 6 June — 10 September 2017 *on now

Young patients on the oncology and hematology wards worked with artist Davina Drummond to create artworks inspired by Hetty Feather’s stay in the Foundling Hospital sick bay and their own personal experiences.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

http://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/hettys-hospital/

Handel's Water Music score

Handel's Water Music

  • 7 July — 6 October 2017

On loan from The Royal Society of Musicians, this display commemorates the 300th anniversary of the first performance of Handel’s Water Music on 17 July 1717.

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

http://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/handels-water-music/

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.
Children at the Foundling Museum for Hetty Feather Day

Hetty Feather: Using History Creatively

  • 22 August 2017 2-3pm

Jacqueline Wilson talks about the writing of Hetty Feather, alongside some of the creative people involved in transforming the books into a TV series. Find out how the Foundling Hospital’s story has inspired artists of all kinds, and take the opportunity to ask those burning questions.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

14:00, tickets £5, £3 children, concessions & Foundling Friends
(includes Museum admission, Picturing Hetty Feather £3 for adults)

Website

http://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/hetty-feather-history-creatively/

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

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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