Hogarth’s commitment to children
Hogarth donated many more art works to the Hospital and encouraged the leading artists of the day, such as Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds, to do the same. So began the Foundling Hospital Art Collection, England’s first public gallery which attracted a daily crowd of spectators and raised valuable funds for the children.
Many of the works were displayed in the Hospital dining room, so that the children could benefit from them. This legacy of art and care continues today in our art therapy work.
Hogarth served on the Hospital’s Court of Governors and General Committee, and designed its coat of arms and uniforms for the children to wear.
His commitment to children extended into his home life, too. With his wife, Jane, he invited children to visit his house, and supervised local wet-nurses (the closest thing to foster carers in those days), an idea ahead of its time.