The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children and of three major figures in British history: its campaigning founder the philanthropist Thomas Coram, the artist William Hogarth, and the composer George Frideric Handel. These pioneering men never had any children of their own but dedicated themselves to London’s foundlings. This remarkable collection of art and social history is now housed in a restored and refurbished building adjacent to the original site of the Hospital, which was demolished in 1926. Over 3 centuries, the Foundling Hospital cared for 27,000 children. It was also Britain’s first art gallery as artists gave their work so wealthy benefactors would visit and pledge donations to the Hospital.
The Foundling Museum opened in 2004 and is housed in a fully-restored 1930s building with many of the fixtures salvaged from the original hospital.
The original Foundling Hospital was built to provide a home for children and to create England's first public art gallery to attract financial support. Before it was demolished in the late 1920s, the architects, J M Sheppard & Partners, took incredibly accurate measurements of all the dimensions. A lot of historic features were put into storage and reused when the current Foundling Museum building was built in 1938. The Foundling Museum's Court Room has one of London's finest surviving Rococo interiors and is available for private hire.