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William Hogarth and the Foundling Hospital

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Hanging in one of London's oldest art galleries is a painting that holds the story of the beginnings of modern British art scene.

The Foundling Hospital was not only the UK's first children's charity but also lays claim to be the UK's first public art gallery. Caro Howell, Director of the Foundling Museum, tells how artist William Hogarth's gift of a painting --- and his subsequent collaboration with Thomas Coram, the founder of the Hospital --- helped save children's lives and laid the seedbed for the contemporary art scene as we know it.

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Caro Howell is Director of the Foundling Museum. Previously she was Head of Education & Public Events at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2005-2011), where she oversaw the construction and programming of major new education spaces and project galleries as part of the Gallery's expansion, including a series of artists' commissions and residencies. She has worked as an independent museum education consultant in the UK and abroad, developing projects that explore issues of advocacy, interpretation and access to the arts. She was ten years at Tate, joining Tate Modern's set-up team in 1997 where she formulated its access and audience development strategy, and developed 'Raw Canvas', London's first peer-led museum programme for 15-23 year olds. She has developed a number of award-winning resources for disabled people including two for Tate: i-Map (2002), the UK's first online art resource for blind and partially sighted people, which received a BAFTA, and i-Map: The Everyday Transformed (2006) which received a Jodi Award.

Caro sits on the Charterhouse Design Advisory Group, was a member of Art on the Underground's Advisory Group (2006-2011) and was a trustee of the experimental theatre company Shunt (1998-2010). She has an MA, History of Art from Birkbeck College, University of London (1994) and a BA, Theatre Studies from Warwick University (1988).

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