The Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London’s first home for abandoned children, and of three major figures in British history: its campaigning founder the philanthropist Thomas Coram, the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel.  The Museum’s nationally-important collections are housed in a restored and refurbished building adjacent to the original site of the Hospital, which is now Coram Fields children’s playground near Russell Square.

As well as displays and memorabilia relating to the lives of the foundlings themselves, the Museum holds the Foundling Hospital Art Collection, a remarkable Collection of eighteenth century paintings and sculptures donated by artists, which made the Hospital England’s first public art gallery.  The Museum is also home to the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, the largest privately-owned collection of Handel memorabilia, which reflects the Hospital’s early links with the composer George Frideric Handel, who performed benefit concerts in the Hospital’s Chapel.

The children’s charity Coram continues Thomas Coram’s pioneering work with vulnerable children and provides a living link with the original mission of the Foundling Hospital.  The Museum seeks to preserve the heritage of the charity by conserving and exhibiting its historical treasures, and continuing the association with art and music through its programme of changing exhibitions, education and cultural events which complement the permanent displays.

Exhibitions and events

Picturing Hetty Feather

Event until 03.09.2017 17:00

Since the first Hetty Feather book was published in 2008, Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s series of novels has delighted young audiences with the adventures of its eponymous heroine, the spirited Victorian...

London History Day

Event on 31.05.2017 10:00

On 31 May 1792 the new season at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens opened with a masquerade. View one of only seven known surviving tickets for this masked ball, staged for London’s wealthy and fashionable...

Hetty's Hospital

Event on 06.06.2017 10:00

Young patients on the oncology and hematology wards worked with artist Davina Drummond to create artworks inspired by Hetty Feather’s stay in the Foundling Hospital sick bay and their own personal...

Picturing Hetty Feather: Curator Tour

Event on 25.06.2017 15:00

Be transported to the Foundling Hospital, and experience what life was like for Hetty Feather and real-life foundling children. Picturing Hetty Feather explores the ways in which curators, writers,...

Handel's Water Music

Event on 07.07.2017 10:00

On loan from The Royal Society of Musicians, this display commemorates the 300th anniversary of the first performance of Handel’s Water Music on 17 July 1717. Admission Free with Museum admission...

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