Explore newly uncovered stories of African and Asian children in the care of the eighteenth-century Foundling Hospital.

Tiny Traces presented a rich history of London life from 1739-1820, a key period in Britain’s colonial past. It followed the stories of more than a dozen children from the African and Asian diasporas through personal items, physical artefacts, works of art and archival documents. Visitors could also explore the circumstances surrounding their admission to the Hospital, including the parents’ lives, the Hospital’s ties to Empire and the wider picture of colonial Britain.

Running as a parallel thread throughout the exhibition, works of art from leading contemporary artists formed a dialogue with the historic narratives. These works enabled visitors to explore the many emotions arising from the archive, and ask questions about the past, present and future. Displayed were pieces by Zarina Bhimji, Hew Locke, Kehinde Wiley, Alexis Peskine, Deborah Roberts and Shanti Panchal.

Presenting brand new research, this exhibition gave a fresh perspective on the world of the eighteenth century, and of today.

Tiny Traces was supported by the 1739 Club.


(Image above: Zarina Bhimji, Untitled (A Sketch), 1999-2010 © Zarina Bhimji. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2022)

★★★★ - one of this excellent museum's best exhibitions yet
The Protagonist Magazine
Interesting and thought provoking
Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays
Mind shaking in the best way
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