For this special display, we presented a series of original illustrations by award-winning illustrator Michael Foreman produced for Lucky Button, a book by Foundling Fellow Michael Morpurgo.

Inspired by the history of the Foundling Hospital, the book tells the moving story of a lonely boy struggling to cope with school bullies and caring for his mother. A mysterious encounter reveals life in the Foundling Hospital in the eighteenth century and unravels a touching tale about the power of music.

Presented amongst the Museum’s historic Collection, the display celebrated the power of illustration to make creative links across the centuries and bring storytelling to life. Having a concern for historical authenticity, Foreman combined studies of source material from the Museum’s Collection, with visits to historic locations such as Hogarth’s House. Full of thoughtful details and cast in a warm colour palette, his luminous watercolours capture scenes in the life of the Foundling Hospital.

We presented the illustrations complete with notes and markings which show the artist’s creative process, offering the chance for illustration fans to come face-to-face with original artwork from one of today’s foremost practitioners.

In conversation with Michael Foreman