The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton made her first appearance after the recent exciting news of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle’s royal engagement news.
After the engagement was announced from Clarendon House, Kate appeared at an engagement at the Foundling Museum, and in a video was asked about the couple. She said ” William and I are absolutely thrilled and it is such exciting news. It is a really happy time for any couple and that they wish them all the best.”
What I want to focus on is the fact that Catherine learnt about the history of the museum, and that the way they use art and creativity to support children who have been abandoned and the lives of vulnerable families.
Catherine studied Art History herself, and is a wonderful individual to help support them in the museums education and outreach programs.
The Foundling Museum in London assists the Foundling Hospital, which is actually the first home/children’s charity ever for abandoned children in the country of Britain, and first public art gallery.
It was established in 1739 and stores the very important Foundling Hospital Art Collection owned and completed by Thomas Coram, a philanthropist also including the Gerald Coke Handel Collection. You can find more information at https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions-collections/collections/. It had a major building refurbishment, and was reopened to the public in June 2004.
The museum examines Thomas Coram’s work and I love that the museum celebrates the ways in which the arts help and assist and improves children’s lives and most importantly, aims to inspire everyone to make a contribution to society.
I also love that Catherine Middleton is a passionate campaigner for Mental Health as well, and uses her time to look at the progress, hard work and determination of such works.
The Foundling Museum’s history tells the story of the Foundling Hospital which was also founded by Thomas Coram. It was a children’s home established for the ‘education and maintenance of abandoned young children’. They focus on children’s health, as they fight such diseases as fevers, small pox, diarrhoea, and tuberculosis by providing clothing, and money and food, which the committee actually focused more on this rather than developing their education.
I particularly love the fact that the hospital grew to become a very popular charity through music and art, plus it was supported by very notable figures and included supporters like cartoonist William Hogarth. William Hogarth set up art exhibitions, and turned the charity into a very poplar establishment as people in those days flocked to see these works and because of this, became one of the most ever first established public art galleries in Britain.
It included work from Thomas Gainsborough, in which I have talked about previously in a recent blog post, and Francis Hayman, Richard Wilson and Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Another piece of history that I love is that the composer, George Frederic Handel, held a benefit concert for it in May 1749 to raise funds for the charity.
So, the Foundling Hospital now houses the Foundling Musuem, where the art collection can be seen.
You may be interested in the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, which has been established the hospital, and it’s activities include Adoption and Care, Creative Therapies, Coram Life Education which runs programs in schools to educate children about health and other particular issues such as drugs, and wellbeing. It also includes family support, and legal advice and advocacy.
This all started with Thomas Coram, who was appalled with children starving in the streets of London, this kind of thing really makes me sad and upset, so the foundation is something that I would fully support. Works by popular artists in the 18th century, who were patrons of this particular foundation, donated some of their work to the foundation.
In the 1920’s, the historic collections were moved to Brunswick Square.
I just wanted this to be a brief history and details and facts on the establishment in which Catherine Middleton is a patron of. She wore a Kate Spade dress and also met with children from the Thomas Coram Nursery, which is actually next door to the museum.
I want to leave you with this:
Coram’s vision is that every child has the best possible chance to live a fulfilling life. We support children and young people from their earliest days to independence, creating a change that lasts a lifetime. We help build their confidence; we help them to develop skills; we uphold their rights and we find loving adoptive families for the most vulnerable. Coram.org.uk