The Foundling Museum
40 Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury, London

This year, London’s Foundling Museum marks the centenary of female suffrage in the United Kingdom with a host of programming celebrating women’s contribution to British society, culture and philanthropy from the 1720s to present day. The year-long schedule of exhibitions harkens to Foundling Museum founder Thomas Coram’s advocacy for girls’ education and belief that literacy was essential for women.

Photo via Foundling Museum

First Amongst Equals
January 16th, 2018 – January 13th, 2019

Spanning 300 years, “First Amongst Equals” presents a diverse range of remarkable women who have shaped contemporary British culture and their choice of object—picked from the Foundling Museum’s Collection—that speaks to them. Featured women include Maria Balshaw (first female director of the Tate Museum), Baroness Hale of Richmond (the first female President of the UK Supreme Court), Francesca Hayward (the first black female principal dancer at the Royal Ballet) and many more.

Maker Not Muse
March 4th, 2018 – TBA

Kicking off in March to celebrate International Women’s day, “Maker Not Muse” is a series of three talks exploring the woman as artist and creator rather than subject matter. The first talk on March 4th celebrates Eleanor Coade, who helped construct the Foundling Hospital Chapel in 1804.

Jodie Carey photographed by Martin Kennedy

New Commission: Jodie Carey
May 25th – September 2nd, 2018

The museum will present a series of site-specific works by artist Jodie Carey inspired by the history of the Foundling hospital and textiles from the Museum’s Collection. The works, including large-scale sculptures and installations, explore themes of aging, memory, time and remembrance.

Ladies of Quality & Distinction
September 21st, 2018 – January 13th, 2019

In partnership with the Art Fund, the museum will launch a crowdfunding campaign starting February 1st to raise 20,000 pounds that will go towards completing an in-the-works exhibition, “Ladies of Quality & Distinction.” The show hopes to reframe the history of the Foundling Hospital (now the site of the Foundling Museum) by replacing portraits of male governors hanging in the Picture Gallery with portraits of 21 women who signed a petition in 1735 calling for the original establishment of the hospital. These women’s lives and work will be elaborated on in the exhibition gallery.

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