Charlotte, Duchess of Somerset (pictured above), was 18 years old, married to the richest man in England, and had recently given birth to her first child. The badass aristocrat was the first of 21 forward-thinking women to sign Coram's petition. Thanks to this group of 'ladies of quality & distinction', the Foundling Hospital was finally established.
For nearly 300 years, these remarkable women have fallen to the margins of history – until now.
Ladies of Quality Campaign, Foundling Museum.
In celebration of the suffragettes, the Museum Plans to re-write her-story with their Ladies of Quality campaign. The aim is to remove the portraits of male governors that hang in the Museum's Picture Gallery. Replacing these portraits will be ones depicting the real heroes: namely, the ladies of quality and distinction who made the Foundling Hospital possible.
Portraits of these wonderful women are scattered across the UK. The Museum is raising money to reunite these Founding Mothers on the site of the Hospital they helped create. You can find out more here, or by watching the video below:
The Foundling Museum is going one step further to celebrate feminism and draw attention to marginalised women. Their latest display, First Amongst Equals, sees remarkable women who have helped shape contemporary British society choose objects in the Museum's Collection. Artefacts span 300 years of social history, culture, and philanthropy, encouraging visitors to draw connections between women's historic and current struggle for equality. The project is an inspiring way to mark the centenary of female suffrage.
Women who have contributed to the display include Baroness Hale of Richmond (the first female President of the Supreme Court), Maria Balshaw (the first female Director of Tate), and Francesca Hayward (the first black female Principal Dancer of the Royal Ballet). Keep an eye out for items marked with purple labels to discover the objects as they gradually go on display.
First Amongst Equals, Foundling Museum. Photo: © Gerald Coke Handel Collection
|First Amongst Equals, The Foundling Museum
|The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ | MAP
|Russell Square (underground)
16 Jan 18 – 13 Jan 19, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
|Click here for more information