The Foundling Museum tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. We aim to inspire adults and children to make a positive contribution to society, by celebrating the power of individuals and the arts to change lives.
The Foundling Museum Introductory Gallery

one of London’s most atmospheric cultural attractions

The Daily Telegraph

Discover thought-provoking exhibitions, contemporary art commissions, collection displays and historic archives, plus a lively programme of concerts, workshops, talks and special events, all enjoyed within beautiful 18th-century interiors.

Artists are central to the Foundling Hospital story and the spirit of its Artist Governors lives on in the work of the many practitioners who support our programmes, from visual artists and film makers, to musicians and designers. They remind us that the arts do not just provide the visuals, the commentary and the soundtrack to our lives; they can change, challenge and improve them.

Alongside artworks, objects and archive documents that reveal the story of the Hospital, we present a diverse programme of exhibitions that offer different ways of engaging with our story, making creative links across the centuries. For over a decade we have showcased the work of celebrated artists, from William Hogarth and Paula Rego, to Grayson Perry, Tracy Emin and Cornelia Parker.

We host residencies, support research and initiate collaborative off-site projects with contemporary artists, writers and musicians, working with different members of the community to cast new light on the Foundling Hospital story. Our learning programme brings the Foundling Hospital story to life in ways that are meaningful for young people, especially those who are looked after and care-experienced, to help them see the world differently and to imagine new possibilities for themselves. Artwork from these projects is showcased in the Museum through displays and public events.

Explore the intriguing story behind this important London institution and the ways in which artists and children have inspired each other for over 275 years.