Foundling Girls at Prayer in the Chapel, Sophie Anderson, 1855
Britain’s first home for abandoned children, The Foundling Hospital was founded in 1741 and set up for the ‘education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children’ and interestingly was also to become London’s first public art gallery. Interesting to visit? Very. Heart wrenchingly poignant? Incredibly, especially the collection of tokens left with Foundlings, lockets, coins and sometimes simply a button where left with the children given up to the hospital. These tokens were attached to the child’s record to help allow correct identification should the parent ever return for the child.
“A seaman, a composer and a painter, and the moving story of the charity they started 270 years ago. It is a recipe of art and care, which still looks after kids today. Coram, Handel, Hogarth, what’s not to love?” – Grayson Perry RA, artist and 2010 Hogarth Fellow.
Clare Twomey has worked with the Foundling Museum to create her project ‘Exchange’ which is encouraging 10,000 good deeds.