Thursday, June 30

The Art of the Abandoned - Jenny Uglow

Cornelia Parker: Shared Fate (Oliver), doll severed by the guillotine that was used on Marie Antoinette, 1998
"An especially poignant exhibit in the Foundling Museum, one of my favorite London places, is not in the current show but in the regular display. It’s a small heart, carefully woven in red thread, and it’s one of the tokens left by mothers who handed their children over to the Foundling Hospital in the mid-eighteenth century: a swatch of material, a coin, a piece of jewelry—mementos to identify a foundling if relatives changed their mind. Originally these objects were attached to the admission papers, but in the mid-nineteenth century the Secretary, John Brownlow, removed them to put them on display and raise funds, thus separating the token from the child. Painstaking research has linked many together again, but the baby whose mother left the little heart has never been identified—just a child without a name. ..."
W - Foundling Museum