The photographer was interested in exploring Lydia’s experiences as a child and her portrait was taken in the infants’ classroom at the Foundling Hospital. Lydia Carmichael (b.1932) attended the Foundling Hospital School at Berkhamsted. She married her husband Don in her mid-twenties, had two children with him and adopted a third. She was a founder member of the Old Coram Association (OCA), an ‘alumni’ group for former pupils, and has very close ties with its members.

Foundling Portraits Project

In summer 2021, the Museum commissioned photographic portraits of five former Foundling Hospital pupils: Ruth Amberly, John Caldicott, Lydia Carmichael, Jocelyn Gamble and Henry Grainger. They represent the last generation of pupils who entered the care of the Hospital in the 1930s and 1940s. Reflecting their importance, and to parallel the calibre of the eighteenth-century artists who donated their works to help the children, five exceptional photographers undertook the commission. They were Jillian Edelstein, Mahtab Hussain, David Moore, Ingrid Pollard and Wolfgang Tillmans. A further double portrait of Sylvia Copestake and Pamela McMurtry, by Eileen Perrier, was added the following year.

This portrait, like the other five, is the result of a reflective, enriching and creative partnership, formed between artist and sitter. Each offers a glimpse of the remarkable spirit and vitality that continues to inspire young care-experienced people today.

About the artist

David Moore graduated from West Surrey College of Art and Design. He has exhibited widely, including the Photographers’ Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Photography, Film and TV, Bradford and published internationally and his work is held in both public and private collections.