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 attend one of our many events from lunchtime concerts to free talks.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

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

Admission charges

Adults: £11 with donation | £10 without donation

Concessions: £8.25 with donation | £7.50 without donation

FREE for children, Foundling Friends & National Art Pass holders

Discounts

  • International Council of Museums
  • National Trust
  • National Art Pass
  • Museums Association
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.
Katie Wilson, Bedrooms of London-Jane, 2017 © Katie Wilson

Bedrooms of London

  • 8 February — 5 May 2019 *on now

The damaging consequences for children arising from the shortage of social housing in London are laid bare in Bedrooms of London, a photo-documentary exhibition at the Foundling Museum, created in partnership with London’s child poverty charity The Childhood Trust. Presenting a new body of work by photographer Katie Wilson focusing on the spaces in which children are sleeping, the exhibition offers a poignant insight into the lives of children living in poverty across London.

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/bedrooms-of-london/

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.
Thomas Benjamin Kennington, The Pinch of Poverty, 1891 © Coram in the care of the Foundling Museum

Finding a Bed in Victorian London

  • 9 March 2019 From 3pm

Professor Jane Hamlett, Royal Holloway University of London, and Dr Vicky Holmes, Queen Mary University of London, give an enlightening talk on the history of homes and homelessness in Victorian London and the south east.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free with Museum admission

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/finding-a-bed/

Katie Wilson, Bedrooms of London, 2017 © Katie Wilson

Change It!

  • 30 March 2019 From 4pm

Hear from a group of young people speaking out and standing up for children’s rights to adequate housing provision. Many have lived in temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfasts, sometimes for months on end. Find out how you can support their campaign.

In partnership with Children’s Rights Alliance for England.

Admission

Tickets £15, £12 concessions & Foundling Friends (includes Museum admission & refreshments)

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/change-it/

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

http://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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