The Museumâ€™s first major exhibition will focus on Handelâ€™s remarkable relationship with the Foundling Hospital, England's first hospital for abandoned children.
Handel and the Foundling Hospital
The Museumâ€™s first major exhibition will focus on Handelâ€™s remarkable relationship with the Foundling Hospital, England's first hospital for abandoned children. Drawn from the extraordinary collection of the Foundling Museum (currently closed for refurbishment), this exhibition of over 30 objects includes such rarely seen treasures as the complete Messiah copy and parts which Handel gave to the hospital in his will â€“ displayed here for the first time in its entirety - the score of the â€œFoundling Hospital Anthemâ€ which Handel composed and performed for the hospitalâ€™s benefit, tokens left with the children by their destitute mothers, as well as paintings, prints, manuscripts and costumes.
The hospital was instigated by Capt Thomas Coram, who was moved by the terrible sight of babies â€“ many born to unmarried women - and young children left to die in Londonâ€™s streets. After a 20-year struggle, the hospital was founded in 1739.
Stimulated by â€˜motives of the purest benevolence and humanityâ€™ (Charles Burney), Handelâ€™s involvement began in 1749 and from 1750 Messiah was performed under his direction on an annual basis for the Hospitalâ€™s benefit. It is estimated that within a decade Handel had generated income of Â£10,000.
Director Jacqueline Riding says, â€˜In the spirit of Handelâ€™s association with the Hospital, the Handel House and Foundling Museums have developed a very special relationship over the past few years. This exhibition signals the beginning of a creative and stimulating partnership between our two unique organisations.â€™
Notes to Editors:
Special Exhibition Events include:
Foundling Hospital Concert, St Georgeâ€™s Hanover Square (8 March)
Lunchtime Lectures (11, 25 Mar, 8, 22 April)
Study Day with Tate Britain (19 March)
Family Open Day - FREE for children (5 April)
MUSEUM WEBSITE www.handelhouse.org for further details
Mothersâ€™ Day (Sunday 30 March) the Museum and Exhibition are FREE for families
Handel House Museum is located at 25 Brook Street, London W1 (nearest tube: Bond Street or Oxford Circus). Entrance in Lancashire Court.
Exhibition Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm (late night opening Thursday, 8pm); Sunday 12pm-6pm. Closed Mondays
Exhibition Prices: Adults Â£5.00, Concessions Â£4.00, Children Â£2.00 (includes free Museum Admission).
The Foundling Museum is closed for refurbishment until Spring 2004. For further information tel: 020 7841 3600 or e-mail email@example.com.
Press contact: Elinor Kaye on 020 7399 1952
The Handel House Museum
25 Brook Street London W1K 4HB