Jon Crispin's Notebook

The Foundling Museum

Posted in Art, Asylums, History by joncrispin on 15/10/2014

Early on in the suitcase project, people started sending me links to the Foundling Museum in London.  Some saw an emotional connection between my project and the amazing stories that are a part of the museum’s collection.  I was really flattered.  This past Friday I finally got the chance to stop by and visit.  It is really difficult to describe in words the impact of the exhibits, and of the building itself.

This is one of many tokens that mothers or fathers left behind to identify their children should they ever return to claim their abandoned child.  It was a simple, but effective system.  So much history here, and I would encourage going to their site to read about what an incredible institution Thomas Coram envisioned and successfully started.

I thought a lot about charity, art, and how brilliant Coram was in bringing in creative people to support the hospital.  Both William Hogarth and George Frideric Handel were governors, and donated time and energy to the idea of saving abandoned children.  The museum still utilizes this model in their temporary gallery space.  I was really bummed to have just missed a Grayson Perry exhibit.  (If you have a few hours to spare, please listen to this.)

Sometimes art can really have an impact.

3 Responses

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  1. nikkisoppelsa said, on 15/10/2014 at 9:46 am

    It might have been me, one of the people who mentioned The Foundling Museum. The suitcases, the museum…fragments of lives beginning and lives ending. The foundlings in large part were left never to be retrieved again. The history will grab and sadden.
    People might be interested in the website (at least one tissue should be in hand) and the book of the same name can be located. You will be happy to have it.

  2. nikkisoppelsa said, on 15/10/2014 at 9:50 am

    I contributed art inspired by the Foundling fragments to one of the A Book About Death exhibits that pop up in this world.

  3. […] is a nice comment on the Foundling post from Nikki Soppelsa.  She reminded me that she was indeed one of the people who told me about the […]

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