Foundling Museum


Finding charities which have a fundraising tea towel, and want to be included in ChariTea Towel, has proved more difficult than I imagined.  Mainly because they don’t sell tea towels, or not tea towels that have any relation to the charity.  For the first anniversary of the Virtual Tea Towel Museum, I did think I ought to try and find one to include.

I spotted the Foundling Museum on Instagram and thought I spotted a tea towel as well.  Was my luck in?  Annabel, at the Foundling Museum, didn’t think they qualified because it wasn’t used as a fundraiser for a particular project, just for the upkeep of the museum.  I think that fits the bill.

”The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity (now called CORAM) and the first public art gallery.  Our Collection is a story about the children who lived at the hospital, how they came to be there, how they were looked after and how the hospital was established and run.   It is also the story of how, from the very beginning, the hospital was supported by London’s vibrant artistic community, from the 18th to 21st Century.  The Collection covers everyday objects used in the Foundling Hospital, books, documents and records, musical scores and librettos, photographs, oral history recordings, works of art, clocks, furniture and probably the most moving, tokens left by mothers who could no longer care for their children.

Artists like William Hogarth donated works of art; musicians like George Handel bequeathed musical scores and librettos.  The Foundling Museum holds the George Coke Handel Collection, an important library and archive.

The Foundling Hospital was established in 1740 under the patronage of William Hogarth and George Friedric Handel which has brought about the strapline of ‘where artists and children have inspired each other since 1740’.  The Museum has many programmes of learning, sponsorship and concerts for, and by, children.

The Museum not only has permanent exhibitions but also time-limited ones.  For the whole of 2018 there is an exhibition called First Amongst Equals where remarkable women who have shaped contemporary British society choose an object that ‘speaks to them’ from the Collection.  For example, Moira Cameron, the first female Yeoman Warder of the Guards chose a suitcase belonging to George Merrett”

Every time I go to London for a hospital appointment, I have walked past the Foundling Museum and have never called in.  I am determined that in September this will be a port of call.  It sounds fascinating and I really would like to see the First Amongst Equals exhibition.

The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ


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