It was the patronage of William Hogarth and George Frideric Handel that helped establish the Foundling Hospital over 275 years ago, setting the template for the ways in which the arts can support philanthropy.
Today, our supporters enable us to continue their vision. Three exclusive Clubs – 1739 Club, 1741 Club and 1750 Club - recognise the power of art and creativity to change lives. It is though their multi-year support that we can plan with confidence, leverage additional support, maximise creative opportunities and take risks to produce unique and thought-provoking programmes. Membership of these groups offers unrivalled opportunities to engage with creative practitioners, attend exclusive events and connect with like-minded individuals.
The 1739 Club: Supporting our exhibition programme
The 1739 Club makes a powerful and strategic difference to our ability to develop an extraordinary exhibition programme. This Club offers those with a passion for history and the arts the opportunity to engage with our exhibitions programme; meet artists, historians and curators; and discuss forthcoming projects with the Director and Trustees.
All our exhibitions aim to bring the Foundling Hospital story to life by placing the past and the present in a creative dialogue whether through research, art history or a site-specific commission by an acclaimed artist.
However, each exhibition takes an average of two years to research and deliver – a significant investment of resources. It is this commitment to curatorial excellence that underpins our reputation and makes great artists want to work with us. 1739 Club members understand this and help ensure our exhibitions fulfil their potential.
The 1741 Club: Supporting our learning programme
The 1741 Club was established to support our vital and unique work with children and young adults, honouring the commitment of the Foundling Hospital and its Artist Governors who knew first-hand the power of art and creativity to change young people’s lives. The Club’s support allows us to develop ambitious projects that have a deep and lasting impact.
Our learning programme aims to bring the Foundling Hospital story to life in ways that are meaningful for young people, to help them see the world differently and to imagine new possibilities.
Whilst our learning programme caters for audiences of all ages – from infants and their parents, to school groups and university students – we place particular emphasis on enabling creative individuals to work alongside disadvantaged young people. The Club’s generous members ensure our vital and exciting projects can take place year after year.
The 1750 Club: Supporting our music programme
The Museum has a long-standing relationship with musicians and music beginning with its eighteenth-century Governor and supporter George Frideric Handel.
Here in the twenty-first century, our programme includes classical concerts, folk gigs and performances by our Choir. Our Young Artists Platform showcases exceptional musicians at the start of their musical career, offering them the opportunity to perform to visitors in our beautiful period rooms.
We are looking expand our programme even further, exploring the legacy of Handel and his contemporaries. Members of the 1750 Club sponsor a wide range of events and allow us to look to the future - increasing what we can offer the many fans of classical and contemporary music who visit the Museum every year, and supporting musicians of all ages too.