Popular artists of the 18th century became patrons and governors of the Foundling Hospital and donated some of their work to the foundation. The art collection contains works by William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds, along with musical scores by Handel including a fair copy of Messiah bequeathed in his will.
The Hospital became fashionable as a cause, a gallery and a concert hall. It was pulled down in the 1920s. The work with vulnerable children was continued by the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, now called Coram. The collection was moved to 40 Brunswick Square, London, and the Foundling Museum was set up in 1998.