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: £13.20 with donation | £12 without donation

Concessions: £9.90 with donation | £9 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.
Nicola Bealing The Lusty Lad of London

A New Song (To An Old Tune)

  • 24 May — 1 September 2019 *on now

A display of new work by contemporary British artist, Nicola Bealing. Using both print and painting, Bealing’s work takes as its starting point the subjects and narratives found in 18th-century broadside ballads – descriptive or narrative songs on popular themes, often sung or sold in the form of cheap sheet music in the streets. Vibrant, bawdy, surreal and humorous, Bealing’s work bears many similarities to that of Hogarth, an artist she cites as having inspired her.

Admission

Included in Museum admission

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/a-new-song-to-an-old-tune/

William Hogarth, The March of the Guards to Finchley, 1750 © The Foundling Museum

Hogarth & The Art of Noise

  • 24 May — 1 September 2019 *on now

Hogarth & the Art of Noise reveals Hogarth’s innovative use of sound, introducing visitors to a previously unexplored but important aspect of his art, and further cementing his reputation as the 18th century’s most original artist.

Famed for his social commentary, no painter before or since Hogarth has made such overt use of sound as a way of communicating a narrative. Taking as its focus the artist’s masterpiece, The March of the Guards to Finchley, the exhibition unpacks the painting’s rich social, cultural and political commentary, from the Jacobite uprising and the situation for chimney boys, to the origins of God Save the King.

Using sound, wall-based interpretation, engravings, and a specially-commissioned immersive soundscape by acclaimed musician and producer Martyn Ware, the exhibition shows how Hogarth orchestrated the natural and man-made sounds of London, to depict the city in all its guises. Discover how the Foundling Hospital’s great artist-governor captured the vibrancy and complexity of contemporary 18th-century life and learn more about the context in which the Hospital was established.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Included in Museum admission

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/forthcoming-hogarth-the-art-of-noise/

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.
Nicola Bealing,The Lusty Lad, 2018 © Nicola Bealing

Nicola Bealing & Nathaniel Mann: In Conversation

  • 21 June 2019

Come along to this ‘In Conversation’ event with contemporary artist Nicola Bealing, whose work is on display in A New Song (to an Old Tune), and Nathaniel Mann, acclaimed composer, performer and member of the Dead Rat Orchestra. Find out more about the inspiration both artists have drawn from eighteenth-century broadsheet ballads (daily song sheets sold for pence) which give a rare insight into Britain’s visual, musical, literary and political history.

Admission

Tickets £6, £4 concessions & Foundling Friends (includes a free drink

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/bealing-mann/

William-Hogarth,-The-March-of-the-Guards-to-Finchley,-1750-©-The-Foundling-Museum

The Art of Noise: The Soundscape of Hogarth

  • 5 July 2019

Discover more about the making of the three-dimensional soundscape of Hogarth’s The March of the Guards for our exhibition Hogarth and the Art of Noise. Hear from sound designer, composer and musician Martyn Ware, and historical advisor, Dr Jacqueline Riding who worked with him to script the dialogue.

Admission

Tickets £8, £6 concessions & Foundling Friends (includes a free drink)

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/soundscape-hogarth/

William-Hogarth,-The-March-of-the-Guards-to-Finchley,-1750-©-The-Foundling-Museum

Soundworks

  • 6 July 2019

With sound artist Jane Pitt, participate in making and vocalising to create a visual graphic score and a spoken word/vocalised soundscape for one of the engravings by Hogarth featured in our exhibition, Hogarth & the Art of Noise.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Tickets £20, £17.50 concessions & Foundling Friends (includes Museum admission and refreshments)

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/soundworks/

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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