We work extensively with contemporary artists, writers and musicians, commissioning new work, hosting residencies, staging exhibitions and initiating projects

Design Explorations: Dolls' Houses

2 February - 3 April 2016

BA Interior & Spatial Design students from Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, have created dolls’ houses for imaginary pupils of the Foundling Hospital. Children came to live at the Foundling Hospital at the age of five, having spent their early years with a foster family. Inspired by their lack of toys, a traditional home life and a loving family, these dolls’ houses, displayed on the seventeenth-century refectory table in the Committee Room, create spaces for imaginary children to live.


5 January - 27 March 2016

Children from Great Ormond Street Hospital’s dialysis wards have created a collaborative animation, inspired by the Foundling Hospital’s history of medical innovation and Great Ormond Street’s ground-breaking transplant processes. Working with animator Shelly Wain, the children used their own experiences to create an animation that describes the process of dialysis through to a kidney transplant. The film is on display in the Museum's Introductory Gallery or you can watch the animation here.


3 November 2015 — 31 January 2016

First year BA Jewellery Design students from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, have made jewellery and art in response to the story of the Foundling Hospital. An exhibition of their work is displayed in the Introductory Gallery and Ante Room, while a selection of the student’s jewellery can be purchased from the Museum Shop.

Finding Yourself

18 November 2015 — 31 January 2016

In summer 2015, a group of young people aged 15-17 took part in Holborn Community Association's youth filmmaking project in partnership with the Museum and 1A Arts. Attending scriptwriting, filmmaking and editing workshops with professional filmmakers, the group created a short documentary film on the theme of identity, inspired by the Museum’s Collection. The resulting film is on display in the Museum’s Introductory Gallery.

This project was funded by BBC Children in Need. 


Until February 2016

The Museum's inaugural Composer-in-Residence, Luke Styles, has been leading composition and music-making workshops with Year 6 children from Argyle Primary School and with pre-school children from Thomas Coram Nursery. Luke will integrate the new music composed and performed in these workshops into a new work, a twenty-first century response to Handel's Foundling Hospital Anthem. Book tickets to a performance of the new work here.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust.



Until April 2016

Pavilion, collaborative artist duo Sophie Yetton and Gabriel Birch, have been awarded this year’s artist research residency.The Foundling Museum Residency is funded by Artquest and creates an opportunity for a visual artist or group of artists to engage with our collections and curators, by undertaking a period of research at the Museum. It is designed to develop artistic practice and potentially lead to a new body of work. Pavilion's time with the Museum will culminate in a public event.

Book tickets here.

Mead's Mysterious Medicines

1 June - 25 October 2015

Children from Great Ormond Street Hospital's bone marrow transplant and dialysis wards created animations and medicine bottles inspired by the eighteenth century medical recipes of the Foundling Hospital Governor, Dr Richard Mead. Working with Foundling Museum curator and artist Emma Middleton, and animator Shelly Wain, the children compared the medicines of the past to the present, before inventing their own imaginary medicine using ingredients that addressed their personal experiences of treatment. Watch the animation here.


Early Years


The Museum runs weekly art and music workshops with children and their parents from Thomas Coram Nursery. These artist-led sessions allow children to experiment and explore through a variety of art activities, from sculpture and instrument making to drawing and painting.

Supported by funds from the Eranda Foundation.


Bach to Baby


These classical concerts for babies and their families were set up by mum and pianist Miaomiao Yu. Performed by Miaomiao and other internationally-renowned musicians, concerts at the Museum are inspired by Handel and take place in the beautiful Picture Gallery.

Click here for the latest Bach to Baby performances 



Foundling Stories

2 November - 31 December 2015

BA Illustration and Visual Media students from the London College of Communication made objects in response to the story of the Foundling Hospital and the Museum’s Collection. Their work formed a book, hand-printed by the students, which was displayed in the Ante Room.




Dawn Chorus

25 September 2014 — 31 August 2016

Renowned natural history sound recordist and 2014 Handel Foundling Fellow, Chris Watson, worked with young care-leavers recording the sounds of the dawn chorus on the site of the original Foundling Hospital. Inspired by the genetic link today’s birds have with those that sang here for the eighteenth and nineteenth century foundlings, Watson’s installation links past and present through a poetic meditation on the importance of place

Superman was a Foundling

25 September 2014 — 1 July 2016

Award-winning poet and playwright, and 2014 Foundling Fellow, Lemn Sissay MBE has created Superman was a Foundling. Through mural and graphic work Sissay has created a striking visual exploration of fostering and adoption in popular culture. Sissay's project aims to reveal and elevate fictional stars of popular and classic culture who were fostered, adopted and orphaned. Names range from characters from the foundation myth of Ancient Rome to Steig Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.