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.
Samuel Alken after Thomas Rowlandson, Audience Scene c1800 © Gerald Coke Handel Foundation copy

Two Last Nights! Show Business in Georgian Britain

  • 20 September 2019 — 5 January 2020

This exhibition delves into the mechanics of theatre and concert going in eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain. With more than 100 objects on display, discover the surprising similarities and astonishing differences between theatre and festival-going then and now, including advertising, ticket sales, audience behaviour and dress code.
Enjoy a fascinating glimpse of behind-the-scenes roles, from theatre managers, set designers and scenery-painters, to the refreshment sellers and ticket collectors. Learn how leading artists of the day, including Hogarth, Hayman and Lambert, crossed over into the world of show business as set designers and scenery painters.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/two-last-nights/

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.
Detail of Thomas Rowlandson's Vauxhall, 1785 ,© Gerald-Coke-Handel-Collection

Exotic Outdoor Pleasure: The Vauxhall Gardens

  • 4 October 2019 From 7pm

Historians Danielle Thom and David Coke discuss the history of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens with Lars Tharp: from decorous entertainments of art and musical display, to the racier activities of some of its less distinguished visitors.

Admission

Tickets: £5, £3 concessions & Foundling Friends (includes a free drink)

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/exotic-outdoor-pleasure/

Detail of WH Vale, Nave of Hereford Cathedral during the performance of the Messiah, 1837 c. Gerald Coke Handel Collection

In Conversation: Behind the Scenes

  • 18 October 2019 From 7pm

From the Georgian era to the present day, discover the changing face of theatre and its many spectacular effects! Enjoy a lively discussion from our panel, including researcher and comedian Naomi Paxton and theatre technician Jake Steele.

Admission

Tickets: £5, £3 concessions & Foundling Friends (includes a free drink)

Website

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/behind-scenes/

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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