The Foundling Museum, located in a quiet corner of Brunswick Square, tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. As London’s first home for abandoned children and also having connections with three major figures in British history: its campaigning founder the philanthropist Thomas Coram, the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel it is a strikingly unusual venue.
This remarkable collection of art, period interiors and social history is now housed in a restored and refurbished building adjacent to the original site of the Hospital, demolished in 1928. The Foundling Museum was established as an independent organisation in 1998 by the childcare charity the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, which is today known as Coram. Coram is the successor organisation of the original Foundling Hospital. The Museum has two principal collections: the Foundling Collection and the Gerald Coke Handel Collection.
The Foundling Collection relates primarily to the history of the Foundling Hospital between its foundation in 1739 and its closure in 1954.
The Gerald Coke Handel Collection relates to the life and work of the composer George Frideric Handel. The collection, assembled by Gerald Coke, includes manuscripts, printed books and music, ephemera, coins, medals and art works from the C18th to C20th. The collection is the largest privately held collection of Handel material and a major international research collection.
The rooms are spectacular, although largely available after 6.30pm (although your team and caterer can enter a little earlier to set up), with some limited daytime hire available. The Court Room and the Picture Gallery on the first floor host receptions for up to 250 guests. These rooms can also be used to host private dinners. You can also arrange private tours that give your guests both a real flavour of the history and work of the Foundling Hospital, as well as unique access to some of Handel’s personal documents.
The Foundling Museum is a registered charity and income from venue hire supports their work with marginalised and care experienced children. For some corporate clients this gives them a philanthropic edge. Check out The Business Narrative’s event at the Foundling Museum.