Val:   I had a wonderful few hours earlier last week (before we got engulfed in snow) at this exhibition:   There is also good shopping in the area!

The Foundling Museum is located in central London, in Brunswick Square, and is currently hosting an exhibition called Threads of Feeling. This is an exhibition of the mid 18th century textile swatches preserved in the records of the London’s Foundling Hospital. These fabrics, both beautiful and poignant, each reflecting the life of a single infant child, form the largest collection of everyday textiles surviving from the 18th century in Britain. They have never been exhibited before. There are over 5000 pieces of fabric in the collection. The fabric swatches were pinned to the relevant admission document and it was hoped that this would enable the child to be identified in the event the parent returned to collect him/her. Each scrap of textile (and there are other trinkets on display too) represents the life of an infant child and that of its absent parent. There is also a device on display in museum that illustrates how the children were lucky enough to be chosen – a random turn of a while and the hope of the right coloured ball coming on show (the original meaning of black-balling maybe).

This is a unique opportunity to link the Museum’s social history displays, which explore the Foundling children’s lives and the displays of 18thcentury fine and decorative art, including paintings by William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough.

On Tues 25th Jan 2011 7pm-8.30pm there is a lecture by Dr.Alysa Levene (Senior Lecturer at the Oxford Brookes University ) entitled ‘Bonds of Love and effection at the London Foundling Hospital in the Eighteenth Century.

More information about this and other events can be found at
As well as information about CORAM- a better chance for children since 1739.