Tag archives: Foundling Museum

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Quentin Blake – As large as life

I blogged a few weeks ago about an exhibition of Quentin Blake’s paintings for hospitals and other health organisations. It is now in London, at the Foundling Museum. I loved it. This is just one of his fabulous Planet Zog pictures for a children’s hospital. I also particularly liked his paintings of ancient circus artists, created with elderly mental health patients in mind. They are delightfully funny, heart-warming and sympathetic. His artwork for an eating disorder clinic is also full of empathy and humour. There is a reading corner decorated with wallpaper designed by Blake (as is the wonderful café). The day I visited lots of children and adults were busy there producing art and stories inspired by the exhibition. Some great looking family events accompany the exhibition. Anyone with an iPad can download a free app with more about Blake’s work.

The Foundling Museum is well worth exploring. It gives the history of the Foundling Hospital, the first home for abandoned children. Some of the stories are truly tragic. The museum does lots of impressive work with today’s looked-after children and young people.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Looked-after children and the cultural and heritage sector

Great to see Children and Young People Now highlighting Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service’s brilliant work with looked-after children (detailed more fully in the report ‘I didn’t know I could’).

I give lots of training on working with looked-after children in cultural and heritage organisations and elsewhere, and I wish more people both within and outside the sector were aware of the fantastic initiatives happening up and down the country. I spoke to a very dedicated and inspired designated teacher recently, and even she had no idea there was any specific provision for LAC in museums, galleries, libraries or archives. I have blogged previously about successful schemes at the Natural History Museum and the Foundling Museum. A key factor with all these projects is that they have not been confined to looked-after children and young people, but have also involved their foster families, their birth families where appropriate, and in some cases their friends. And crucially engagement is active and creative.

My co-trainer on lots of the LAC courses I give is John Vincent of The Network. He has put together a valuable list of information resources on looked-after children and young people. Well worth checking out. For library staff, the sets of ‘Right to Read’ Tips on the list are particularly helpful.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Cultural Olympiad project with looked-after young people

Wednesday’s Society Guardian had an interesting article about a Stories of the World Cultural Olympiad project involving looked-after young people at the Foundling Museum. The young people met up with two elderly ‘foundling pupils’ as the abandoned children taken in by the Foundling Hospital were called, and then made sound installations based on their conversations. They also created wonderful artwork, which is currently on show at the museum. You can see some of it here too, and listen to a couple of the sound installations.