As well as giving his portrait of Thomas Coram, British artist William Hogarth worked with a group of fellow artists to create an inspiring sequence of paintings for the Hospital’s Court Room, where the Governors held formal meetings.

He invited a very young Thomas Gainsborough to join this group, spotting his talent. Hogarth’s generosity continued. In 1750, he staged a lottery for his painting ‘The March of the Guards to Finchley’. Hogarth had 167 tickets left on the day of the draw, and gave them all to the Hospital. As Hogarth probably intended, the Hospital won the painting.

Alongside artists’ gifts, other supporters and Governors also commissioned and donated works. The tradition of giving artwork to the Hospital continued through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many works explored themes of childhood, religion, education, or presented role models. Some captured life at the Hospital itself.

Today we continue to have Contemporary Conversations with artists who share our mission of creative action, transforming lives.