This visit had a number of strands or facets.
History of the Foundling Hospital
Art works Donated in 18th and 19th Centuries
There is the aspect of social history - it is the first foundling hospital and first public art gallery. It was disturbing to learn that on occasion desperate mothers would pay to have their child taken from many miles away to London and the foundling hospital, but that unscrupulous traffickers sometimes just left the child on the road en route to die.
The collection of art, mainly 18th century and some 19th century. Highlights included several works by Hogarth - etchings - Gin Lane; Four Time of Day - Noon; Vice and Virtue - plate 6; and paintings e.g. The March to Finchley, 1750; and Captain Thomas Coram, 1740 [hospital founder - interestingly he was unusually painted with his own hair, as he really was, rather than, as was the custom, wearing a wig.
The uplifting drawings of Quentin Blake as made for a diverse range of hospitals in UK and France. I especially enjoyed the images of the father meeting his newborn baby for the first time that QB made for the fathers waiting area at Angers maternity hospital.
The ambience of the visit was enhanced by a small chamber group practicing Handel in the upper gallery; it was good to view the works, old and new, as the strains of Handel's music seeped through the building. It was also good to briefly visit the Handel archive and to listen to some further works in specially made lounge chairs [perhaps an idea that I could adapt in some future installation].