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 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

Adults: £8.25 (including voluntary 75p GiftAid donation)
Concessions: £5.50 (including voluntary 50p GiftAid donation)
Children under 16: FREE
Art Fund FREE
National Trust: Half price

Discounts

  • International Council of Museums
  • National Trust
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.
A shot of the Superman was a Foundling mural project

Superman was a Foundling

  • 14 June 2014 — 30 April 2015 *on now

Created by award-winning writer and 2014 Coram Foundling Fellow, Lemn Sissay MBE, Superman was a Foundling is a visual exploration of the powerful role that orphaned, fostered and adopted children play in our culture. Sissay’s striking mural provides a playful and contemplative counterpoint to the lists of foundling names on display in the Introductory Gallery.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/Superman-was-a-foundling/

Chris Watson recording water

Dawn Chorus

  • 25 September 2014 — 10 May 2015 *on now

Renowned natural history sound recordist and 2014 Handel Foundling Fellow, Chris Watson, worked with young care-leavers recording the sounds of the dawn chorus on the site of the original Foundling Hospital. Inspired by the genetic link today’s birds have with those that sang here for the eighteenth and nineteenth century foundlings, Watson’s installation links past and present through a poetic meditation on the importance of place.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/dawn-chorus-2014/

A work from the exhibition

Finding

  • 14 November 2014 — 30 January 2015 *on now

A Central Saint Martins BA Jewellery Design project at the Foundling Museum.

Responding to the Foundling Museum Collection and the story of the Foundling Hospital, lecturers and students from Central Saint Martins BA Jewellery Design created a series of new artworks around the subject of jewellery.

Their creations express some of the conflicting feelings that the Collection evokes: abandonment and belonging, uniformity and individuality, the loss of identity and the chance for a new life.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/finding-jewellery-display/

Handel

Portraits from the Royal Box

  • 30 January — 10 May 2015

This in-focus display brings together four rarely-exhibited portraits of Handel and his contemporaries Corelli, Geminiani and Daniel Purcell. On loan from the Royal Society of Musicians, these paintings once hung in King George III’s Royal box at the Concerts of Antient Music.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/the-royal-box/

Baby Asleep

Sir Jacob Epstein: Babies and Bloomsbury

  • 30 January — 10 May 2015

Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), pioneer of modernism and distinguished portrait sculptor, made many portraits of children throughout his career. This exhibition, curated by Gill Hedley, explores Epstein’s love of children as a subject matter by bringing together a remarkable selection of his moving bronzes and drawings of babies and children, including members of his own family.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/babies-and-bloomsbury/

Foundling boys marching

Foundlings at War: Military Bands

  • 24 February — 10 May 2015

Foundlings at War is a major research project examining the Foundling Hospital’s historic links with the military. The Hospital was designed to prevent waste of life and create ‘useful’ citizens; between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries many foundling boys went directly from the institution into the military.

This in-focus display explores the rich history of the Foundling Hospital’s Boys’ Band, established in 1847. Boys joining the band increasingly went on to join military bands, serving in regiments and taking part in military conflicts around the world. With newly-researched archive items, instruments and music on display, we delve into their stories.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/military-bands/

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.
Ticket for a charity performance of Handel's Messiah at the Foundling Hospital

Choral Festival Concert

  • 5 February 2015 7:30-9:30pm

Corpus Christi College Chapel Choir and St. John’s Voices perform a selection of works by Britten and Fauré in the beautiful ‘Actor’s Church’ in the heart of Covent Garden. This recital supports the Foundling Museum’s O’Neil Appeal, securing two iconic works for our Collection.

Find out more at www.justgiving.com/O-Neil-Appeal

This event is organised by Brandenburg Choral Festival, sponsored by Money & Co.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Where

St Paul's Covent Garden
Bedford Street
London
WC2E 9ED
England

Getting there

Covent Garden and Leicester Square tube stations are a short walk away.

Admission

£18 for adults
£5 for children

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/Choral-Festival-Concert/

The little girl with her goldfish

Film Screening: The White Balloon

  • 12 February 2015 6:30-9:30pm

The White Balloon (1995) will be screened in the Picture Gallery as part of the Cinema of Childhood tour, curated by Mark Cousins, exploring issues of child development and well-being. A Q&A follows the screening.

Jafar Panahi's masterpiece follows the adventures of a little girl who wants a new goldfish to celebrate Iranian New Year, and won't take no for an answer. Panahi became the first Iranian filmmaker to win a major prize at Cannes when The White Balloon was awarded the Camera D'Or in 1995. He has been banned from filmmaking by the Iranian government for twenty years.

Admission

Tickets £8, £6 concessions

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/Film-screening-the-white-balloon/

The Academy of Ancient Music

Handel's Birthday Concert

  • 23 February 2015 6-9pm

Celebrate the 330th Birthday of George Frideric Handel with the Academy of Ancient Music, as they perform a selection of pieces by the composer and his contemporaries. The award-winning Academy of Ancient Music aim to energise and breathe new life into baroque and classical music, by staying true to the style and spirit of how it was first performed

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Tickets £25

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/Handels-birthday-concert/

Epstein's 1904 work, Baby Asleep

Curator's Talk

  • 26 February 2015 6:30-9pm

Exhibition Curator, Gill Hedley, explores Sir Jacob Epstein’s life and work in Bloomsbury. The Foundling Hospital stood as an ever-present feature in the landscape during a period of remarkable artistic creativity and complex domestic circumstances. Discover the fascinating story behind how a pioneer of modernism was entranced by babies and children as subjects.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets £5

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/talk-gill-hedley/

Georgian map of the Bloomsbury area

Foundling Walk: Exhibition Special

  • 27 February 2015 11am-1pm

Explore the life and work of Jacob Epstein with Janice Liverseidge. Discover more about Epstein’s life, loves and artistic inspiration while taking in the wealth of statues and sculptural works depicting some famous figures of Bloomsbury’s history. The walk will culminate at the Foundling Museum.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets £9, £7 concessions

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/foundling-walk-epstein/

Tony McManus

Folk at the Foundling: Tony McManus

  • 5 March 2015 6:30-9pm

The acclaimed Tony McManus, best known for his virtuosic fingerstyle guitar-playing, performs an intimate solo gig in the Picture Gallery. Described as “the best Celtic guitarist in the world” by Pentangle’s John Renbourn, McManus finds a unique voice on the acoustic guitar, taking listeners on an assured journey to the heart of his music.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets £12, concessions £10

Website

http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/folk-McManus/

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

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