The Foundling Museum

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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The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children and of three major figures in British history: its campaigning founder the philanthropist Thomas Coram, the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. This remarkable collection of art, period interiors and social history is now housed in a restored and refurbished building adjacent to the original site of the Hospital, demolished in 1926. Our programme of regular public events includes exhibitions, displays, weekly lunchtime concerts, talks, performances, workshops and drop-in family activities.

Captain Thomas Coram lived in an age that cared little for the plight of unwanted children, who were often left to die on the streets of London. When Coram retired after a life spent as a successful ship-builder and sailor, primarily based in the New World of America, he was horrified by the spectacle of poverty on London's streets. He spent the remainder of his life striving to fulfil his grand design, which was to establish a refuge for abandoned children. In this endeavour he was assisted by his friend, the artist William Hogarth, who like Coram himself was childless. Their efforts were rewarded in 1739, when George II granted a Royal Charter for the establishment of a Foundling Hospital.

Hogarth personally contributed paintings to decorate the walls of the new building. His example inspired many other contemporary British artists to donate works to this pioneering and philanthropic institution, creating the first British art gallery, The Foundling Hospital, which is now seen as the catalyst for the Royal Academy. At that time there was little exhibition space available for artists in London and the walls of the Hospital served this purpose.

The rich and powerful were encouraged to come and view the pictures as well as the children, with the hope that they might commission works from one of the exhibiting artists and contribute to the work of the Hospital.

George Frideric Handel also supported the Hospital's charitable work by giving benefit performances of his work in the Chapel.

In the 1920's the Foundling Hospital was pulled down, but the treasures were saved and moved to 40 Brunswick Square. The Foundling Museum houses the nationally important Foundling Hospital Collection. The work with vulnerable children continues and the charity is now known as Coram. The Foundling Museum was established in 1998 as a separate but closely linked charity.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Heritage site, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Tues to Sat, 10.00 - 17.00
Sun 11.00 - 17.00

Admission charges

Adults: £7.50
Concessions: £5.00
Children under 16: FREE
Art Fund FREE

Discounts

  • International Council of Museums
  • National Trust

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.
Progress at the Foundling Museum

Progress

  • 6 June — 7 September 2014 *on now

Four contemporary artists respond to Hogarth’s masterpiece.

To mark the 250th anniversary of Hogarth’s death, Progress brings together for the first time three great contemporary responses to his eternally modern moral tale, A Rake’s Progress. David Hockney’s A Rake’s Progress, 1961-3, Yinka Shonibare MBE’s Diary of a Victorian Dandy, 1998, and Grayson Perry’s The Vanity of Small Differences, 2012, are shown alongside Hogarth’s original 1735 prints and joined by a newly commissioned work by Jessie Brennan.

Hogarth’s popularity with both artists and the public has endured for over two hundred years, and his work has provided inspiration to successive generations. Hockney, Shonibare and Perry not only update Hogarth’s searing social commentary, they also add their own personal concerns to the creative dialogue. Commissioning an emerging female artist to respond to Hogarth’s work, the Foundling Museum further develops the conversation.

Exploring issues of sexuality, race, class, vice, temptation, youth and urban living this exhibition both highlights Hogarth’s continuing relevance and allows us to consider the idea of ‘progress’.

Progress is supported by Arts Council England.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/Progress/

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.
Willow and Wind film poster

Film Screening: Cinema of Childhood Tour

  • 23 July 2014 6-10pm

As part of the Cinema of Childhood tour, exploring issues of child development and well-being through film, Willow and Wind (2000) will be shown in the Picture Gallery, followed by a Q & A session and drinks reception. The event is in partnership with the Institute of Education.

Doors 18:00, screening 18:30, Q & A 20:00, reception 21:00.

The Q & A panel will include:
Margaret O'Brien, Director, Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education (Chair).
Caro Howell, Director, The Foundling Museum.
Dr. Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad, Senior Teaching Fellow (Iranian Cinema), SOAS.


The reception includes complimentary wine.

Curated by Mark Cousins, the Cinema of Childhood tour, in partnership with professional and academic institutions concerned with child well-being, aims to encourage through a series of screenings and discussions debate about childhood and its status in society.

Willow and Wind (2000) – original title, Beed-o baad – is an Iranian film by acclaimed director Mohammad-Ali Taleb and written by Abbas Kiarostami. It has been given 5 stars out of 5 by Peter Bradshaw, writing in the Guardian, and has been described by Neil McGlone as “a beautiful, compelling, mesmerising poetic metaphor for a country’s strength and resistance”. For more information on Willow and Wind, visit the Cinema of Childhood website.

“A school window is broken, and kids can’t concentrate because the rain is getting in. The culprit isn’t allowed back into class until he mends it. He carries a large pane of glass across the countryside in a gale. The wind blows; but will he crack? In the hands of writer Abbas Kiarostami and director Mohammad-Ali Talebi, this simplest of stories becomes an epic quest, poetic and breathtakingly beautiful. It has big-hearted humanism, but Hitchcockian tension too. An edge-of-seat masterpiece. Unmissable.”

Suitable for

  • Any age

Languages

  • Iranian (English subtitles)

Admission

Tickets £10, £8 Concessions and Foundling Friends

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/cinema-of-childhood/

Gin Lane

Gin Tasting

  • 24 July 2014 6:30-8:30pm

‘Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for two pence’. Prof. Steven Parissien, Director of Compton Verney, leads gin tasting in the Picture Gallery. Explore the wonders of ‘mothers ruin’, tantalize your tastebuds, and learn about the history of gin from 1690 to present day with a patricular emphasis on the mid-eighteenth century ‘gin craze’. Includes up to six taster shots.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets £20

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/gin-tasting/

Foundling Family Workshop

Family Workshop: Wonderful Weaving

  • 26 July 2014 10:30am-4:30pm

Create a collaborative tapestry in response to Grayson Perry’s work in Progress, and take away a framed tapestry about your own family. Free for children and up to two accompanying adults.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • Any age

Admission

Free for children and up to two accompanying adults

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/wonderful-weaving/

Foundling Sunday - James Brawn

Foundling Sunday August

  • 3 August 2014 2-4pm

Curator Stephanie Chapman talks about Progress, followed by pianist James Brawn performing pieces from his award-winning CD, A Beethoven Odyssey.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum Admission

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/foundling-sunday-progress/

Foundling Museum keyboard

Lunchtime Concert

  • 14 August 2014 1-2pm

A recital by a recipient of the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum Admission

Website

http://Foundling Museum keyboard

Foundling Museum family workshop

Family Workshop: Progress

  • 15 August 2014 10:30am-4:30pm

Work with artist Daniel Wallis to create a giant cartoon strip inspired by the stories of artists and families visiting the Museum. Workshops are drop-in, and free for children and up to two accompanying adults.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

Free for children and up to two accompanying adults

Website

http://Foundling Museum family workshop

Maite Aguirre

Sunday Afternoon Concert

  • 17 August 2014 3-4pm

Pianist Maite Aguirre performs a selection of Chopin and Granados piano pieces.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum Admission

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/sunday-afternoon-concert-aguirre/

Lars Tharp at the Foundling Museum

A Pug's Progress

  • 21 August 2014 6:30-9pm

Antiques Roadshow ceramics expert, and former Director of the Foundling Museum, Lars Tharp follows the trail of Hogarth’s pugs.

Lars says: ‘William Hogarth was happy in his lifetime to be dubbed ‘Painter Pug’. Short of stature and of dogged disposition, the plucky pug was Hogarth’s dog double, his alter ego. Each of his own three recorded dogs appears in his paintings and prints. Trump in particular has enjoyed reincarnations over the last three centuries, his latest starring role being in Grayson Perry's six-part tapestry series, a work exhibited at the Foundling from June to September and on special view on the evening of the talk. So why the pug? What significance does it have? And what of Hogarth's other dogs? And those that came after? We will follow several t(r)ails.’

Lars Tharp, the Foundling Museum's former Director, is a ceramics specialist and speaks internationally on China, on ceramic history, and on the Life and Times of William Hogarth. In 2014, between appearances on the Antiques Roadshow, he has made a film for the BBC on 'The Missing Pug', commemorating the 250th anniversary of William Hogarth's death.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets £10, £8 concessions and Foundling Friends

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/lars-tharp-pugs-progress/

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.

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