i’m jealous of this lovely/sad exhibition

Ok, all of you moms out there… get ready to cry. These images are part of a show called Threads of Feeling that just ended in March, at The Foundling Museum in London. Here’s the story:

During the late 18th century women who, for whatever reason, couldn’t care for their babies could bring them to The London Foundling Hospital. The idea was that the hospital would care for the babies until the mothers were ready to come back and get their children – sadly, many of them never did. However, in hopes that these women would be able to return one day, they put a system in place. No names were recorded, instead each mother left a piece of fabric that was unique in some way. Part of the fabric was left in the baby’s file, and the other piece was taken by the mother. This would prove which baby was hers when, and if, she returned. Over 16,000 children were left there between 1741 and 1760. These beautiful, and unbelievably sad, images are from the hospital’s records during that time… are you crying yet? Yep, me too.

{There is a fantastic article in The Guardian if you’d like to learn more… oh, and also cry more.}

comments (8)

  1. The Orchard /// 05.25.2011 /// 8:13am

    Wow! Just wow!

  2. sarah hemm /// 05.25.2011 /// 1:19pm

    incredible. great post

  3. gabriela /// 05.26.2011 /// 3:43am

    whoa. touching, beautiful and indeed heartbreaking. i’m amazed that these were kept around for so long…who would ever have the heart to throw them away. thank you so much for sharing! xx

  4. the jealous curator /// 05.26.2011 /// 8:00am

    amazing, aren’t they? each one has its own heartbreaking story – thank goodness no one threw them away!

  5. Ninotchka /// 05.26.2011 /// 4:00pm

    WOW! So gorgeous in a heartbreaking way. Off to read more about it. Thanks!

  6. Lori Anderson /// 06.05.2011 /// 1:57pm

    Such a lovely piece of art, and I’ve read history books, fiction and non, about this place, but it never ceases to touch me.

  7. the jealous curator /// 06.05.2011 /// 8:25pm

    i know – it’s heartbreaking.

  8. Threads of Feeling /// 10.25.2013 /// 11:03am

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