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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Foundling Museum

In 18th century London the instances of abandoned babies and infanticide were common - up to a thousand a year in London alone. The abandoned children were known as "foundlings" (a child of unknown parentage, abandoned by its mother). In 1722 Thomas Coram started lobbying for a Hospital for the Maintenance and Education of Exposed and Deserted Young Children. Like all good lobbyists, his temperament was not suited to administration and Thomas was soon ousted from the Board of Governors.

The hospital/school was successful, with patrons such as William Hogarth the artist and Handel the composer. As a result of this patronage the Hospital amassed a large and very valuable collection of art works. The school ceased to be a foundling institution in 1954 and is now Ashlyn's school in Hertfordshire.

The Foundling Museum in London now houses and displays the art collection.

9 comments:

MARIA GRAZIA said...

Pills of history + gorgeous photos! I can't resist dropping by day by day, Mo! Thanks a lot.

lewi14 said...

I can't say it better than MARIA GRAZIA. What a great man Thomas Coram was!

Caroline said...

Lovely room and a very apt photo for today in South Africa as it is Youth Day - a public holiday commemorating the Soweto U[prising by school children in 1975.

PepeB said...

What MARIA GRAZIA says is true: I also like dropping by to find interesting information and your great fotos.

Witness said...

nice!

Irina said...

Very interesting! and great quality shot.

Nathalie said...

Now how the funds raised for caring for abandoned children ended up being spent on artworks is beyond my very basic comprehension of economics.

What a fantastic photo. Crisp, beautiful.

Leif Hagen said...

What an extraordinary room with a scrumptious Persian rug, artwork, marble fireplace and antiques! I think it's heavenly!

Tinsie said...

How interesting! I never knew this place existed :-)

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