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

First Amongst Equals

Event until 13.01.2019 17:00

Remarkable women who have shaped contemporary British society choose objects that speak to them from the Museum’s Collection. Spanning 300 years of social history, culture and philanthropy, their...

Emma Brownlow: In Focus

Event until 29.07.2018 0:00

Explore in more depth the artist who is most represented in the Museum’s Collection in this special Committee Room display. Alongside Emma Brownlow’s four paintings of scenes of life at the Foundling...

Sky Marbles

Event until 23.09.2018 0:00

We display work made by children from Thomas Coram Nursery as part of an ongoing collaboration. Exploring our Collection, children from the Nursery have created colourful marbles representing skies...


Event until 02.09.2018 0:00

Commissioned by the Museum, Jodie Carey has created a series of striking works in response to the Foundling Hospital story. Displayed within the exhibition gallery and amongst the historic...

Threads Of Feeling: Foundlings, Philanthropy & Textiles In 18th-Century London

Event on 01.07.2018 15:00

Textile historian Professor John Styles, whose research underpinned our 2015 Threads of Feeling exhibition, talks about the textile tokens retained within the unique records for children admitted to...

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Educational programs

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