The Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum We're a force for change, where creative action is transforming lives! #Museum #Exhibitions #Events #Stories #VenueHire

Open Thursday - Sunday weekly, and also Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 June for half term.

Inspired by three great 18th- century activists - Thomas Coram, William Hogarth and George Frideric Handel - the Foundling Museum is a force for change. We believe in creative action that brings past and present together to stimulate imaginations and enrich young lives. We think play matters and not just for children. We’re very serious about our work, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. F

Inspired by three great 18th- century activists - Thomas Coram, William Hogarth and George Frideric Handel - the Foundling Museum is a force for change. We believe in creative action that brings past and present together to stimulate imaginations and enrich young lives. We think play matters and not just for children. We’re very serious about our work, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. F

Operating as usual

Get involved in some family fun this weekend with our new activities for children to do at home. Make a insect-inspired ...
30/07/2021

Get involved in some family fun this weekend with our new activities for children to do at home. Make a insect-inspired windmill, birdfeeder, sun print or binoculars, and let the creativity fun free. http://ow.ly/vYfG50FGZPP

Get involved in some family fun this weekend with our new activities for children to do at home. Make a insect-inspired windmill, birdfeeder, sun print or binoculars, and let the creativity fun free. http://ow.ly/vYfG50FGZPP

This delicate, Battersea enamel token shows a rosy-cheeked putti (cherub with no body), hovering over the name 'Ann Higs...
29/07/2021

This delicate, Battersea enamel token shows a rosy-cheeked putti (cherub with no body), hovering over the name 'Ann Higs' in a ribbon design. No further information is known about what child it was connected to, or if 'Ann' was the name of the child, mother, or someone else. #TokenThursday

This delicate, Battersea enamel token shows a rosy-cheeked putti (cherub with no body), hovering over the name 'Ann Higs' in a ribbon design. No further information is known about what child it was connected to, or if 'Ann' was the name of the child, mother, or someone else. #TokenThursday

Grab your place at our Sun Print Adventures family workshop this Friday and uncover the natural elements of Quentin Blak...
28/07/2021

Grab your place at our Sun Print Adventures family workshop this Friday and uncover the natural elements of Quentin Blake’s drawings with artist Isobel Manning, learning how to make sun prints using organic materials and photographic paper.

Our afternoon session is with British Sign Language interpretation.

Find out more and secure your spot: http://ow.ly/M6iM50FFjAi

Grab your place at our Sun Print Adventures family workshop this Friday and uncover the natural elements of Quentin Blake’s drawings with artist Isobel Manning, learning how to make sun prints using organic materials and photographic paper.

Our afternoon session is with British Sign Language interpretation.

Find out more and secure your spot: http://ow.ly/M6iM50FFjAi

A donor has offered to match the next £2000 in donations to #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign. Every £10 will be worth double,...
27/07/2021

A donor has offered to match the next £2000 in donations to #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign. Every £10 will be worth double, more with Gift Aid. We are over half way, please help us reach our £15,000 target to commission 5 leading photographers to put former Foundling Hospital pupils on the walls. Donate here:
http://ow.ly/9XOi50FEs1Z

A donor has offered to match the next £2000 in donations to #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign. Every £10 will be worth double, more with Gift Aid. We are over half way, please help us reach our £15,000 target to commission 5 leading photographers to put former Foundling Hospital pupils on the walls. Donate here:
http://ow.ly/9XOi50FEs1Z

Our #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign has reached £7,851, with our goal of £15,000 by 31 July just days away. Can you help us ...
26/07/2021

Our #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign has reached £7,851, with our goal of £15,000 by 31 July just days away.

Can you help us raise the remaining funds to commission five leading photographers, including Eileen Perrier and David Moore, to create portraits of the last generation of Foundling pupils who were admitted to the care of the Hospital in the 1940s and 50s? http://ow.ly/HFG350FDPw8

Our #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign has reached £7,851, with our goal of £15,000 by 31 July just days away.

Can you help us raise the remaining funds to commission five leading photographers, including Eileen Perrier and David Moore, to create portraits of the last generation of Foundling pupils who were admitted to the care of the Hospital in the 1940s and 50s? http://ow.ly/HFG350FDPw8

In July 1935, 300 foundling children followed the Hospital’s boys band as they processed into their new home at Berkhams...
25/07/2021

In July 1935, 300 foundling children followed the Hospital’s boys band as they processed into their new home at Berkhamsted.

The Governors purchased a 200-acre site overlooking the town of Berkhamsted and commissioned architect John Sheppard to design a new Hospital building. His design was closely based on Jacobsen’s original London Foundling Hospital but included an assembly hall, swimming pool and gymnasium with a prominent Chapel in the centre of the scheme.

The original staircase from the girl’s wing was incorporated in the new building and Thomas Coram’s coffin was moved into the Chapel along with some of the stained glass and original Chapel furniture. The girls and boys remained separated and the new dormitories housed 30 children in each.

In July 1935, 300 foundling children followed the Hospital’s boys band as they processed into their new home at Berkhamsted.

The Governors purchased a 200-acre site overlooking the town of Berkhamsted and commissioned architect John Sheppard to design a new Hospital building. His design was closely based on Jacobsen’s original London Foundling Hospital but included an assembly hall, swimming pool and gymnasium with a prominent Chapel in the centre of the scheme.

The original staircase from the girl’s wing was incorporated in the new building and Thomas Coram’s coffin was moved into the Chapel along with some of the stained glass and original Chapel furniture. The girls and boys remained separated and the new dormitories housed 30 children in each.

Quentin Blake: Gifted
23/07/2021

Quentin Blake: Gifted

Can you spot all the Masonic symbols on this token? The Masonic emblems of a moon, a star and the sun, with two columns ...
22/07/2021

Can you spot all the Masonic symbols on this token? The Masonic emblems of a moon, a star and the sun, with two columns on each side underneath, can be seen, and in between the columns are nautical/mathematical images and a trowel.

The token’s original purpose within the movement has not been established. Here it may have been used to try to gain some preference for the child. #TokenThursday

Can you spot all the Masonic symbols on this token? The Masonic emblems of a moon, a star and the sun, with two columns on each side underneath, can be seen, and in between the columns are nautical/mathematical images and a trowel.

The token’s original purpose within the movement has not been established. Here it may have been used to try to gain some preference for the child. #TokenThursday

In the twentieth century, the Governors decided to sell the Hospital Estate and move the children out of London. They bo...
21/07/2021

In the twentieth century, the Governors decided to sell the Hospital Estate and move the children out of London. They bought St Anne’s School in Redhill as temporary accommodation for the children while the new purpose-built Hospital was constructed in Hertfordshire. This archive photo shows boys walking into the school in the late 1920s.

In the twentieth century, the Governors decided to sell the Hospital Estate and move the children out of London. They bought St Anne’s School in Redhill as temporary accommodation for the children while the new purpose-built Hospital was constructed in Hertfordshire. This archive photo shows boys walking into the school in the late 1920s.

We’ve taken the decision to continue our enhanced procedures at the Museum and our highest priority remains keeping you ...
20/07/2021

We’ve taken the decision to continue our enhanced procedures at the Museum and our highest priority remains keeping you and our dedicated team of volunteers and staff safe. Find out how we're doing this: http://ow.ly/SvcQ50FzQhn

We’ve taken the decision to continue our enhanced procedures at the Museum and our highest priority remains keeping you and our dedicated team of volunteers and staff safe. Find out how we're doing this: http://ow.ly/SvcQ50FzQhn

Enjoy the first in our series of Q&As with the poets involved with our exhibition #QuentinBlakeGifted, and hear Ben West...
19/07/2021

Enjoy the first in our series of Q&As with the poets involved with our exhibition #QuentinBlakeGifted, and hear Ben Westwood talk about his inspirations, writing process, advice to budding writers, and more. http://ow.ly/Okkd50Fxx2Y

Enjoy the first in our series of Q&As with the poets involved with our exhibition #QuentinBlakeGifted, and hear Ben Westwood talk about his inspirations, writing process, advice to budding writers, and more. http://ow.ly/Okkd50Fxx2Y

Have you ever wondered what the exact definition of a foundling is?‘Foundling’ is an historic term applied to children, ...
17/07/2021

Have you ever wondered what the exact definition of a foundling is?

‘Foundling’ is an historic term applied to children, usually babies, that have been abandoned by parents and discovered and cared for by others.

However, the term ‘foundling’ is a misnomer in relation to the Foundling Hospital, for although its criteria and process of admission changed over the centuries, mothers were required to hand over their child in person.

There were only two exceptions to this rule. The first was during a brief period known as General Reception which lasted from 1756 – 1760. The other exception applied to babies who came with a donation of £100 which guaranteed a place on a ‘no questions asked’ basis. This scheme ran from 1756 to 1801, during which time approximately 75 babies were admitted in this way.

Have you ever wondered what the exact definition of a foundling is?

‘Foundling’ is an historic term applied to children, usually babies, that have been abandoned by parents and discovered and cared for by others.

However, the term ‘foundling’ is a misnomer in relation to the Foundling Hospital, for although its criteria and process of admission changed over the centuries, mothers were required to hand over their child in person.

There were only two exceptions to this rule. The first was during a brief period known as General Reception which lasted from 1756 – 1760. The other exception applied to babies who came with a donation of £100 which guaranteed a place on a ‘no questions asked’ basis. This scheme ran from 1756 to 1801, during which time approximately 75 babies were admitted in this way.

16/07/2021

Calling all Quentin Blake fans! Have you ever wanted to be a writer or illustrator? Why not join us to complete a story inspired by Blake’s new works with lots of other children!

Visit our website to see how to contribute each week to a brand new story, which will continue until the end of August. Start the adventure now...

http://ow.ly/fker50Fxk7q #QuentinBlakeGifted

Learn more about our #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign and the five exceptional photographers who will undertake the commissio...
16/07/2021

Learn more about our #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign and the five exceptional photographers who will undertake the commission if we reach our goal of £15,000 by 31 July. http://ow.ly/dMdo50FxgdL

Learn more about our #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign and the five exceptional photographers who will undertake the commission if we reach our goal of £15,000 by 31 July. http://ow.ly/dMdo50FxgdL

This Duke of York token displays the text 'THE WOODEN WALLS OF OLD ENGLAND' on its reverse, the name of a poem by Henry ...
15/07/2021

This Duke of York token displays the text 'THE WOODEN WALLS OF OLD ENGLAND' on its reverse, the name of a poem by Henry Green. The poem references the British Navy, and the 'wooden walls' are the ships, hence them being shown next to the words. #TokenThursday

This Duke of York token displays the text 'THE WOODEN WALLS OF OLD ENGLAND' on its reverse, the name of a poem by Henry Green. The poem references the British Navy, and the 'wooden walls' are the ships, hence them being shown next to the words. #TokenThursday

In July 1935, 300 foundling children followed the Hospital’s boys band as they processed into their new home at Berkhams...
13/07/2021

In July 1935, 300 foundling children followed the Hospital’s boys band as they processed into their new home at Berkhamsted.

The Governors purchased a 200-acre site overlooking the town of Berkhamsted and commissioned architect John Sheppard to design a new Hospital building. His design was closely based on Jacobsen’s original London Foundling Hospital but included an assembly hall, swimming pool and gymnasium with a prominent Chapel in the centre of the scheme.

The original staircase from the girl’s wing was incorporated in the new building and Thomas Coram’s coffin was moved into the Chapel along with some of the stained glass and original Chapel furniture. The girls and boys remained separated and the new dormitories housed 30 children in each.

In July 1935, 300 foundling children followed the Hospital’s boys band as they processed into their new home at Berkhamsted.

The Governors purchased a 200-acre site overlooking the town of Berkhamsted and commissioned architect John Sheppard to design a new Hospital building. His design was closely based on Jacobsen’s original London Foundling Hospital but included an assembly hall, swimming pool and gymnasium with a prominent Chapel in the centre of the scheme.

The original staircase from the girl’s wing was incorporated in the new building and Thomas Coram’s coffin was moved into the Chapel along with some of the stained glass and original Chapel furniture. The girls and boys remained separated and the new dormitories housed 30 children in each.

This archive image shows a scene from a Foundling Hospital summer camp trip, with group of boys eating grapes and posing...
11/07/2021

This archive image shows a scene from a Foundling Hospital summer camp trip, with group of boys eating grapes and posing for the camera.

This archive image shows a scene from a Foundling Hospital summer camp trip, with group of boys eating grapes and posing for the camera.

09/07/2021

We need your help to raise £15,000 by 31 July, to give a face to the last generation of Foundling pupils who were admitted to the care of the Hospital in the 1940s and 50s. They are the last living connection to our 300-year history.

Not a single one of the dozens of paintings which line the walls of the Foundling Museum are of a named pupil from the Foundling Hospital. With your support, we can change that.

We hope to commission five leading photographers, including Wolfgang Tillmans and Mathab Hussain, to create portraits of some of these remarkable men and women, to add them permanently to our collection, to hang alongside the great 18th-century portraits and to continue the story of great artists supporting young lives.

Find out more about this project and how you can donate to make it happen here: https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/support/foundlingportraitscampaign/

#FoundlingPortraitsCampaign #crowdfunding

This rough-cut rectangular piece of mother-of-pearl is engraved with 'JAMES SON OF JAMES CONCANNON GENT, LATE OR NOW OF ...
08/07/2021

This rough-cut rectangular piece of mother-of-pearl is engraved with 'JAMES SON OF JAMES CONCANNON GENT, LATE OR NOW OF JAMACA, 1757'.

The name of James’ father on this piece of shell and the information that he was ‘now or late of Jamaca’ suggests that mother and child were left stranded by his absence. She made sure the child was properly identified by his token before leaving him with the Hospital. The child, who was renamed Raymond Kent, survived to be apprenticed to a farmer in Yorkshire.

This rough-cut rectangular piece of mother-of-pearl is engraved with 'JAMES SON OF JAMES CONCANNON GENT, LATE OR NOW OF JAMACA, 1757'.

The name of James’ father on this piece of shell and the information that he was ‘now or late of Jamaca’ suggests that mother and child were left stranded by his absence. She made sure the child was properly identified by his token before leaving him with the Hospital. The child, who was renamed Raymond Kent, survived to be apprenticed to a farmer in Yorkshire.

#DidYouKnow that the Foundling Hospital were going on summer camps right up to 1939. In fact, they were at camp when WWI...
07/07/2021

#DidYouKnow that the Foundling Hospital were going on summer camps right up to 1939. In fact, they were at camp when WWII was announced and they were brought back to Berkhamsted early!

#DidYouKnow that the Foundling Hospital were going on summer camps right up to 1939. In fact, they were at camp when WWII was announced and they were brought back to Berkhamsted early!

As part of our exhibition #QuentinBlakeGifted, poems have been written responding to the works. But what short poem woul...
06/07/2021

As part of our exhibition #QuentinBlakeGifted, poems have been written responding to the works. But what short poem would you come up with for this image? Unleash your creativity in the comments! http://ow.ly/LFGC50FpEcl

As part of our exhibition #QuentinBlakeGifted, poems have been written responding to the works. But what short poem would you come up with for this image? Unleash your creativity in the comments! http://ow.ly/LFGC50FpEcl

Ahead of today's #ENGUKR match, here's an archive photo from 1908, showing Foundling Hospital boys playing football whil...
03/07/2021

Ahead of today's #ENGUKR match, here's an archive photo from 1908, showing Foundling Hospital boys playing football while some of the girls look on.

Ahead of today's #ENGUKR match, here's an archive photo from 1908, showing Foundling Hospital boys playing football while some of the girls look on.

Have you heard of Martin Folkes, mathematician and antiquarian? He served as Vice President of the Foundling Hospital be...
02/07/2021

Have you heard of Martin Folkes, mathematician and antiquarian? He served as Vice President of the Foundling Hospital between 1739 and 1747 and was present on the night of the first admission of children to the Hospital in Hatton Garden on 25th March 1741.

Folkes also served as President of the Royal Society between 1741 and 1752, having succeeded his fellow Hospital Governor Sir Hans Sloane. William Hogarth painted Folkes’ portrait in the year of his election and this print is taken from an etching/engraving Hogarth made after this oil painting.

Have you heard of Martin Folkes, mathematician and antiquarian? He served as Vice President of the Foundling Hospital between 1739 and 1747 and was present on the night of the first admission of children to the Hospital in Hatton Garden on 25th March 1741.

Folkes also served as President of the Royal Society between 1741 and 1752, having succeeded his fellow Hospital Governor Sir Hans Sloane. William Hogarth painted Folkes’ portrait in the year of his election and this print is taken from an etching/engraving Hogarth made after this oil painting.

A phoenix rises dramatically from a burning coronet on this silver disc token. Phoenixes are traditionally a symbol of h...
01/07/2021

A phoenix rises dramatically from a burning coronet on this silver disc token. Phoenixes are traditionally a symbol of hope, renewal and rebirth, possibly what the parents of this foundling wished for the child. #TokenThursday

A phoenix rises dramatically from a burning coronet on this silver disc token. Phoenixes are traditionally a symbol of hope, renewal and rebirth, possibly what the parents of this foundling wished for the child. #TokenThursday

Address

40 Brunswick Square
London
WC1N 1AZ

TUBE: Russell Square // King's Cross St. Pancras // Euston TRAIN: King's Cross St Pancras International // Euston

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

+442078413600

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Our story

The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. Through a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events, we celebrate 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. Make the most of your visit by hiring a guide, picking up a unique artist-designed souvenir in our Shop, or attending one of our many events from free lunchtime concerts to curator-led tours.

To keep up to date with our latest exhibitions, events and more join our mailing list: https://goo.gl/AMBqsa

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