The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, 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 which looked after children from 1741 all the way until 1956, including tokens mothers left with their babies in the vain hope that they would be reunited someday. And the Gerald Coke Handel Collection is an international recognised collection of material relating to Handel who would devise annual performance of his Messiah in order to raise money for the hospital.
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