Art Happens: The Fallen Woman

Through Art Happens, the crowd-funding platform run by Art Fund, we raised over £25,000 towards the cost of our exhibition The Fallen Woman.

This exhibition explored the myth and reality of the ‘fallen woman’ in Victorian Britain, revealing hidden testimonies from women who petitioned the Foundling Hospital to take their illegitimate babies into care.

The exhibition included paintings by major nineteenth-century artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Richard Redgrave and George Frederic Watts, alongside the real stories of nineteenth-century women applying to give up their babies to the Foundling Hospital. 

O'Neill Appeal, Foundling Hospital Font. Museum fundraising

The O’Neil Appeal

In commemoration of the Museum’s 10th Birthday, we raised £15,000 to secure two poignant Collection items.

The Foundling Hospital Chapel Font and Henry O’Neil’s painting Mother Depositing her Child in the Foundling Hospital, Paris (1855), were successfully purchased by the Museum. Both of these significant items are now on display in our Introductory Gallery.

The font, designed in 1804, is adorned with a lamb motif, in reference to the Foundling Hospital Coat of Arms, famously designed by William Hogarth. O'Neil's painting of The Foundling Hospital in Paris (L’Hôpital des Enfants-Trouvés) illustrates admission through baby hatches, in contrast to the petition process of its London counterpart.


The Big Give Christmas Challenge

In 2011 and 2013 we took part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge to raise money for our programme of exhibitions. 

In 2011 our campaign raised money for the exhibition, Quentin Blake: As Large As Life. It displayed drawings by the beloved children's illustrator, specifically made for four hospital units around the country. The appeal raised over £18,000, allowing the exhibition to introduce new families to the Foundling Museum and highlight the importance of the imagination when working with with vulnerable and looked-after children. 

Our second Big Give Christmas Challenge raised £16,000 through matched donations for our exhibition By George! Handel’s Music for Royal Occasions. The target was achieved within only three days, thanks to the tireless generosity of our supporters. It allowed us to stage this significant exhibition for the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian accession.



The Foundling Museum is a registered company limited by guarantee and a registered charity

Company registration no. 3621861. Charity registration no. 1071167