Superheroes, Orphans, and Origins

Foundling Museum
Superheroes, Orphans, and Origins image

Friday 1st of April 2022 to Sunday 28th of August 2022

Event Times

Tues - Sat 10am - 5pm
Sun 11am - 5pm


Adult £10.50/£9.50
Concessions £8.25/7£7.50
Free for 21 & under, Foundling Friends & National Art Pass holder

Venue Information

The Foundling Museum
40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ

Nearest Stations

Russell Square 0.24 miles


Hi there,

I hope you are well. I’m getting in touch about a show that could be of interest to include in the What’s On section for April.

Opening 1 April, Superheroes, Orphans & Origins: 125 Years in Comics at the Foundling Museum will be the first major exhibition to explore the representation of foundlings, orphans, adoptees, and foster children in comics.

The exhibition brings together over a century of comics and art from around the world. Orphaned superheroes like Superman, Spiderman and Batman, will be shown alongside children living in poverty like Little Orphan Annie and the much-loved Chinese character Sanmao. In addition the show features objects relating to real foundlings from the Foundling Hospital archive, reminding us of the resilience and courage that foundlings and superheroes share – but also pointing to the difference between the low visibility of children in care compared to their hugely popular fictional representations.

The exhibition also includes contemporary international comics:
• Zenobia is about an orphaned Syrian refugee who determines to be strong like Zenobia, the fictional warrior queen that she imagines inside her head.
• Palimpsest recounts the author’s journey to discover her origins growing up as an adoptee from Korea in Sweden.
• Sunny traces the harsh reality for orphans that live in a Tokyo group home, but together the characters consistently hope and strive for a better life.

Please see attached images and do let me know if you’d like further information or to speak to artists, curator or Foundling Museum Director Caro Howell.

All best,


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