THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE WILL VISIT THE FOUNDLING MUSEUM
Tuesday 28th November, 2017
The Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Foundling Museum on, Tuesday 28th November. Her Royal Highness will learn more about the Museum’s history and the way it continues to focus on its founding principles to use art and creativity as a means to support and engage children and vulnerable families.
The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. The Foundling Hospital, which continues today as the children’s charity Coram, was established in 1739 by the philanthropist Thomas Coram to care for babies at risk of abandonment. After 17 years of tireless campaigning, Thomas Coram finally received a Royal Charter from King George II in 1739, enabling him to establish his Foundling Hospital. From 1741 when the first babies were admitted, to 1954 when the last pupil was placed in foster care, the Foundling Hospital cared for and educated around 25,000 children.
Instrumental in helping Coram realise his vision was the artist William Hogarth, who encouraged leading artists of the day to donate work, and George Frideric Handel, who conducted annual benefit concerts in the Hospital’s chapel. Their creative generosity set the template for the ways in which the arts can support philanthropy. Today artists continue to be central to the Foundling Museum’s work; through a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events the Museum celebrates the ways in which the arts have helped improve children’s lives for over 275 years and aims to inspire everyone to make a positive contribution to society.
During her visit, The Duchess of Cambridge will receive a briefing on the history of the Hospital and how the Museum continues to engage vulnerable and marginalised young people. Her Royal Highness will meet families and children who have benefited from the Museum’s education and outreach programmes, including pre-school children from a local nursery who regularly visit the Museum and young care leavers who are being trained to run their own creative workshops. The Museum aims to give young people new skills, an understanding of history, and a space in which their voices are heard.
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