This room, one of three historic interiors from the original Foundling Hospital building, recreates the original Picture Gallery built to house the charity’s growing art collection.

Here we display important portraits of key figures from the beginnings of the Hospital including William Hogarth’s portrait of the founder Thomas Coram. Before the creation of this gallery space, this portrait, along with other eighteenth-century portraits, used to hang in the girls’ dining room.

Visitors to the Hospital might attend a service in the Chapel to hear the children sing or even be invited in to see the children eat and sleep, perhaps a more respectable alternative to viewing the ‘lunatics’ at Bedlam, the popular name for Bethlem Hospital. The Foundling Hospital’s art collection was also a draw and Hogarth and his fellow artists were hopeful of attracting new patrons and commissions through these visitors.