I was able to go to the foundling museum today for a class field trip; this museum being one I likely wouldn’t have gone to otherwise since it costs to get in. It was rather interesting. The museum building started out as a hospital at its outset. It was then more or less a selective orphanage after that.
Our focus today was to look for Victorian era influences on the museum, the building itself and the history they presented there. We were also looking for clues as to what the children’s daily lives would have been like as per museum representation, class relationships in relation to the children who would have lived there and finally representations of childhood in the Drawing on childhood exhibit portion.
It seemed that life would have been hard as a child at the house, much better than living on the streets however. Children at this place were raised to be good upstanding servile citizens ready for a life of work. Domestic service for the girls and military for the boys as it was described. This directly conflicts with the Victorian era feeling of childhood needing protection, and that children should be able to enjoy their innocence and be children rather than work as early as possible. It was interesting to see photographs of former foundlings who were grown up and to be able to compare their more current photos with those of their past.
The other portion I thought was interesting was the drawing on childhood portion. It was chock full of children’s books and illustrations relating to orphans or almost orphans. Ranging from Snow White to Harry Potter and more. Who doesn’t love a good book?
The museum was also about Handel too it turns out, he was hugely important in the house as he governed the house I believe it was. The top floor was entirely dedicated to him even with the room being small, it was still rather interesting! You could sit and listen to his music in comfortable chairs while reading about his works. I would have stayed longer to listen but more people came and I didn’t want to hog the chair.
All in all it was a rather unique museum and a fun experience at that. After the museum my classmates and I went to a little cafe on the way back. I ended up getting a cheesecake pastry while they got coffee, it was pretty good! Until tomorrow!