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
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Rachel Whiteread, 'Untitlted' (Found), 2016

FOUND

  • 27 May — 4 September 2016 *on now

Combining new and existing work with found objects kept for their significance, this major exhibition unfolds throughout the Foundling Museum, interacting with historic works in the Collection and with each other. Cornelia Parker’s inspiration has in part been taken from the Museum’s eighteenth-century tokens – small objects left by mothers with their babies as a means of identification should they ever return to claim their child.

Artists participating in FOUND include: Ron Arad, Phyllida Barlow, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Deacon, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Brian Eno, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum, Thomas Heatherwick, Christian Marclay, Mike Nelson, David Shrigley, Wolfgang Tillmans, Edmund de Waal, Mark Wallinger, Marina Warner, Rachel Whiteread and Jeanette Winterson.

More than twenty Royal Academicians have contributed to the show, echoing the role that the Foundling Hospital played in the development of the Royal Academy. Founded in 1739 to care for babies at risk of abandonment, the Foundling Hospital was supported by the leading artists of the day, many of whom donated work, thanks to the revolutionary involvement of the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. The Royal Academy’s origins can be traced back to the collective mobilisation of artists and the promotion of British art that took place at the Hospital during the eighteenth century.

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/found/

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.
Alma

Folk at the Foundling: Alma

  • 3 June 2016 From 7pm

Alma brings together award-winning fiddlers John Dipper (English Acoustic Collective) and Emily Askew (Askew Sisters), with guitarist Adrian Lever (Arhai).

Inspired by fiddle traditions from England and across the world, Alma’s unique approach results in beautiful and exciting new arrangements. The group perform their debut album for the first time, in this special concert to celebrate its launch.
Each member of Alma brings their own individual style and influences to the band, from John’s work with groundbreaking string quartet Methera, Emily’s extensive experience in early music and Adrian’s knowledge of Eastern European songs.
Folk at the Foundling showcases established and breakthrough artists, inspired by the tradition of folk song and the compelling eighteenth-century stories told at the Foundling Museum.

The Foundling Museum is a registered charity and all income from ticket sales supports our work.

"these top-notch musicians form a lively fusion of dazzling fiddle brilliance" - Folk on Monday, The Green Note

Admission

Tickets £12, £10 concessions and Foundling Friends

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.cloudvenue.co.uk/folkalma

Bob and Roberta Smith, I Found Love

United We Stand: Artists & Collective Action

  • 8 June 2016 6:30-8pm

This panel discussion considers the forces that motivate artists to act collectively, today and in the past. Speakers on the topic include, artist Bob and Roberta Smith, Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, design historian Dr Tanya Harrod, and Louise Jury, Director of Communications & Strategy at Creative Industries Federation, In association with the Art Workers’ Guild.

Admission

£5

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.cloudvenue.co.uk/artscollectiveaction

Cornelia Parker, Unfinished painting attributed to Alfred Munnings, date unknown

Foundling Sunday: Cornelia Parker

  • 3 July 2016 2-3pm

Don't miss your opportunity to hear Cornelia Parker discuss her work and the inspiration for her exhibition FOUND in this free talk with Director Caro Howell. Free, but advanced booking essential.

Admission

Free with Museum admission, but advanced booking required

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.cloudvenue.co.uk/corneliaparker

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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