Thursday, 10 March 2011

Threads of Feeling

screen grab from Threads of Feeling website
I've been meaning to mention Threads of Feeling for ages. It's an exhibition that's been on at the Foundling Museum in Coram's Fields, London, and I see that it's just finished (sorry for bad timing). But my post is really about the associated website, www.threadsoffeeling.com.
   This is a really beautiful website that records the scraps of fabric that women put in with their babies when they left them at the Foundling Hospital at the end of the eighteenth century. When the babies were left, the Hospital renamed them and sent them into the countryside to be nursed. Effectively their links to their mothers were broken, except for these little pieces of cloth, which could be matched to those kept by the mothers, if they were ever in a position to come back for their children.
screen grab from Threads of Feeling website
Here's is a lovely article from the Guardian that explains in more detail. The exhibition and website were put together by Professor John Styles at University of Hertfordshire where I work.

7 comments:

Things Hand Made said...

Dont you think its amazing that children and mothers who had little control over their lives can still touch our lives toady

bad penny said...

Hi Jane, Penny from the Postcard swap here. I'd just heard of this too late but thank you for the link. I think I'd have become quite emotional if I'd seen the exhibition.

barbarabeesblog said...

Hi Jane, I went to the website and all of them are really fabulous, cant get enought of them. They are so delicate and the combination of old writing with the fabric gives such an incredible emotional feeling.

Joanna said...

Hi Jane, I read about this on the Hens Teeth blog too. I didn't get to see the exhibition but did watch the online exhibition, which was terribly moving. As Penny says, I think I may have been quite emotional in the actual exhibition (especially as I am adopted, so a kind of latter day foundling, except I didn't even get a scrap of cloth to connect with with my birth mother).

Thank you for commenting on my post today, it was great to see you'd dropped by.

Looking forward to getting stuck in to the Postcard Swap!

Make mine Mid-Century said...

Oh, that's so sad. A scrap of fabric ... I couldn't imagine.

Menopausal musing said...

I haven't managed to get to this, but the wonder of the web and blogging is that I have managed to get a good feel for it and it looks so poignant.........

CAROLYN SAXBY said...

I didn't get to the exhibition either but I have the catalogue and it is beautiful ... full of the tiny scraps of fabric and heartbreaking stories of the foundlings

Lovely blog

Carolyn
LOVE STITCHING RED