Saturday, 14 November 2015
The Foundling Museum, Brunswick Square WC1
In the 1920s it was decided to relocate the Hospital to the countryside, in Hertfordshire, and the magnficent Georgian buildings were demolished. A new headquarters for the charity was built in its place, designed in a restrained neo-Georgian style by JM Sheppard and Partners.
A bust of a young-looking Coram is set over the front door, sculpted by David Evans, who presumably also supplied the charming plaques of cherubs.
The building now contains the Foundling Museum which charts the history of the charity and displays the amazing works donated by the artists who supported it, including Hogarth, Gainsborough and Reynolds. The charity, now called simply Coram, has a new building next door, with a 1963 statue of the great man in front.The sculptor, William MacMillan, has more or less recreated the Hogarth portrait in bronze, showing him seated, wearing a greatcoat, holding the Hospital's charter in his right hand and a pair of gloves in his left, as if he was just off on another of his relentless fund-raising expeditions.