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Ladies of Quality & Distinction @ Foundling Museum
21 September 2018 - 20 January 2019
Marking 100 years of female suffrage, Ladies of Quality & Distinction resets the focus of the Foundling Hospital story, revealing portraits and stories of the remarkable women who supported both the establishment and the running of the Hospital. Despite its male face, women permeate every aspect of the story; as mothers, supporters, wet nurses, staff, apprentice masters, artists, musicians, craftsmen and foundlings. Yet for almost 300 years, history has placed these women as a footnote to the story. This exhibition brings these overlooked stories to the fore. Discover portraits of the ‘ladies of quality and distinction’ who in 1735 signed Thomas Coram’s original petition to King George II calling for the establishment of the Foundling Hospital. Displayed together for the first time, these paintings replace the portraits of male governors in the Picture Gallery.