The Museum is responsible for the care and maintenance of two collections – the Foundling Hospital Collection and the Foundling Museum Collection, which includes the Gerald Coke Handel Collection. These encompass everyday objects used in the Foundling Hospital; books, documents and records, musical scores and librettos, photographs and oral history recordings, as well as significant works of art, clocks, furniture and interiors many of which were created especially for the Hospital and donated by their makers.
Some of the most moving objects are the identifying tokens left by mothers with their babies in the Hospital’s earliest years. Deeply touching too is the Foundling Voices collection – testimonies of former pupils of the Foundling Hospital School in the twentieth century, the last generation of children to grow up there.
Among the artists who supported the Foundling Hospital were William Hogarth, and the composer George Frideric Handel. The Collections include paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures created and donated by Hogarth and others, as well as the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, an internationally important library and archive relating to Handel and his musical contemporaries.
Alongside these are works by contemporary artists, including our Foundling Fellows, who have been inspired by our story to work with us on projects to improve the lives of children and young people today.