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Seen and Heard: Victorian Children in the Frame

The Music Lesson


​Guildhall Art Gallery
(off Gresham Street)
London EC2V 5AE

Opening hours

​​Mon - Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 12noon-4pm

Adult £8, Concession £6 | 23 November - 28 April 2019

Buy tickets online or in person at the Gallery and the City Information Centre.

During the nineteenth century, Victorian society began to view youth in a different light. Traditionally seen as small adults, children came to be regarded with greater empathy and in need of special protection, regardless of class. The concept of childhood was born and viewed as a carefree time for the era’s youth. This view became popular with artists and art enthusiasts alike, influencing a movement of idealised artwork depicting domestic happiness, childhood innocence and peaceful family life. However, this middle-class romanticism was a world away from the reality of many children who lived and worked in poverty.

Seen and Heard: Victorian Children in the Frame tells the story of a period where social revolution saw history’s forgotten children perceived and individualised for the first time. The exhibition boasts a selection of works from the City of London’s permanent collections, as well as including key loan pieces from major British collections, including Tate Britain and the Royal Academy.


As part of the exhibition, Guildhall Art Gallery will be holding a number of events, including talks, family events and more.

Late View - Victorian Valentine's

  • 15 February 2019

Due to unforeseen circumstances this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Curator Talks

Join exhibition curator for a tour of the exhibition. Learn more about the works, the themes in the art, and the artists themselves. Talks are FREE with exhibition entry.

Times: Wednesdays 1pm

  • 6 March
  • 3 April
  • 24 April

Family Events

Keep the children entertained with FREE family events every second Saturday of the month. As part of the exhibition offer, all under 12s will be allowed to bring an accompanying adult to the exhibition for free.

Times: Saturdays 10am-4pm

  • 9 February
  • 9 March
  • 13 April

Life as a Victorian Child - half-term family event

  • 20 February
  • 11am - 2.30pm
  • Free but places are limited so booking is essential

Join Guildhall Art Gallery and the Charterhouse on a Victorian adventure. Be inspired by the Gallery’s current exhibition ‘Seen and Heard: Victorian Children in the Frame’ and create your own family portrait. Then, travel onto nearby Charterhouse to experience life as a Victorian school child.

Meet at Guildhall Art Gallery at 11am, access via Guildhall Yard, EC2V 5AE. The day will finish at the Charterhouse, EC1M 6AN.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suitable for children age 5-13 and their families.