First exhibited in London in 1766, we are excited to be displaying 'A Philosopher Giving That Lecture on the Orrery in Which a Lamp is Put in Place of the Sun', by revered “painter of light”, Joseph Wright of Derby (on loan from Derby Museum & Art Gallery). This dramatic painting offers a fascinating window to changing social attitudes and public understanding of science, education and technology in the eighteenth century.

Wright of Derby, and his large network of friends and acquaintances, has multiple points of connection with key people in the Foundling Hospital’s history and objects in our collection. Visit the Museum to discover the story of the Lunar Society and the threads that link a token admitting the holder to a lecture in experimental philosophy, a clock detailing the phases of the moon and a letter written by girls apprenticed by the Hospital to Wright’s painting and the Age of Enlightenment it celebrates.

While we display Joseph Wright of Derby’s masterpiece, you can see our magnificent painting by William Hogarth, The March of the Guards to Finchley (1750) at Derby Museum & Art Gallery.