The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital. It was the UK’s first children’s charity, and the first public art gallery. The Hospital was founded in 1739 by Thomas Coram to care for babies at the risk of abandonment. He was helped in his mission by two very famous men, the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. The Museum brings together history and art and a little bit of music too.
There are paintings, records and artefacts showing how the children lived in the hospital from 1741 all the way until 1956. This included tokens mothers left with their babies in the vain hope that they would be reunited someday. Be sure the check out The Gerald Coke Handel Collection. It’s an internationally recognised collection of material relating to Handel. He would devise annual performance of his Messiah in order to raise money for the hospital.
The Museum regularly hosts concerts, talks, performances, workshops and drop-in family activities so keep an eye on their website for that info. The Foundling Museum Café serves a selection of hot and cold food, drinks and cakes. The museum shop is a must if you want to leave with a souvenir reminder of a great day.
Click here for information about the Foundling Museum’s access policies.