The Pinch of Poverty (detail) by Thomas Benjamin Kennington, oil on canvas, 1891
© Coram in the care of the Foundling Museum
We tend to imagine the Victorian home as a family affair, a place of stability and a retreat from the outside world. But for huge numbers of Londoners the reality was very different. Tens of thousands made their homes in lodgings and lodging houses, renting a room or a bed in a building shared with strangers. Countless others could not afford to rent and were forced to turn to the workhouse and to shelters or slept rough in whatever shelter they could find.
This exhibition tells the story of this ‘other’ London, exploring the places the poor inhabited and bringing them to life through paintings, photographs, and objects, as well as through personal stories and reports.
Homes of the Homeless: Seeking Shelter in Victorian London
Tuesday 24 March – Sunday 12 July 2015. Admission £5 / £3 concessions.