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...

Lily Cole: Balls

Event until 02.12.2018 0:00

2016 Foundling Fellow Lily Cole has created a film to mark the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth. On display in the Committee Room and also at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Balls takes as its...

Lily Cole: Balls

Event until 02.12.2018 0:00

2016 Foundling Fellow Lily Cole has created a film to mark the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth. On display in the Committee Room and also at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Balls takes as its...

Women Of Note

Event until 20.01.2019 0:00

In the eighteenth century, music performance was always a live event, and singers could build both their reputation and that of the composer through their performances. Composers depended on the...

Kitty Clive: The Creation Of A Female Celebrity

Event until 30.12.2018 0:00

Kitty Clive, born Catherine Raftor, was a star of the London stage. She sang in Handel’s first London performance of Messiah in 1743, and he created the role of Dalila for her in his oratorio Samson...

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