Through May 26, 2014
When mothers left babies at London’s Foundling Hospital in the mid-18th century, the Hospital often retained a small token as a means of identification, usually a piece of fabric. Each scrap of material reflects the life of a single infant and that of its absent parent.
Organized by the Foundling Museum and curated by John Styles, this will be the only American venue for this exhibition.
The token-filled billet books are owned and lent by leading UK children’s charity Coram, which began as the Foundling Hospital, with the assistance of the City of London, London Metropolitan Archives.
The Colonial Williamsburg exhibition of Threads of Feeling is supported by the generosity of Mary and Clint Gilliland of Menlo Park, California, through the Turner-Gilliland Family Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Elizabeth Moore Ruffin, Douglas N. Morton and Marilyn L. Brown of Englewood, Colorado, Berwick Offray LLC, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Barnett.
Join the Thread Online
Have you experienced the exhibit? Share an experience or reflection relating to the themes you’ve seen and stories you’ve heard in the Foundling Museum’s Threads of Feeling exhibition and add your thread to the growing fabric of our blog community.
Hear the story behind London’s Foundling Hospital and gain insight into the struggles mothers of the time may have faced. Learn the historical origins of the term black balled and hear about the exhibition from a textile perspective.