From tiny, touching identifying tokens left by mothers with their babies to composer George Frideric Handel’s Will. Artworks by outstanding contemporary artists like Yinka Shonibare, Tracey Emin and Michael Craig-Martin, as well as those made and donated nearly three centuries earlier by William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds.

Follow the story of the Foundling Hospital, the children who lived there, and its vibrant community of artists, musicians and supporters through our galleries and historic rooms.

Our Introductory Gallery sets the scene through key pieces from the Foundling Collections such as the tokens and the Hospital’s Royal Charter, together with objects from the children’s daily lives, and a range of individual voices and stories.

From there, step into our historic rooms, spaces where once artists, children and mothers would have walked, recreated and preserved from the original Foundling Hospital. See the extraordinary works of art and furnishings created and donated to the Hospital by the leading artists and craftsmen of the day in our Court Room. Find out more about the Hospital’s supporters and see the magnificent portraits in our Picture Gallery, such as Hogarth’s portrait of Thomas Coram.

Find out more about Handel’s connections with the Hospital in our Handel Gallery, where you will find objects from the Gerald Coke Handel Collection including Handel’s Will, and the manuscript score of his Messiah which he bequeathed to the Foundling Hospital. Sit back in our special armchairs to listen to some of his music.

As you move around the Museum, you’ll enjoy contemporary artworks threaded throughout, connecting past and present. Our lively programme of changing exhibitions and displays takes place in our special exhibition gallery and beyond.