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The Hunterian Museum

Home > London > Cultural Events | Exhibitions | Free | Indoor | Museums
by Caroline Haack (subscribe)
Fine art student and freelance writer from Paris, living in London.
Published May 6th 2017
The most curious anatomical museum

The Hunterian Museum is situated in the heart of the Royal College of Surgeons. From the outside, there is no visible sign of the presence of the museum and at the entrance, the keeper gives a badge to visitors so that they go up to the few rooms that make up the museum.

This museum is actually the personal collection of the surgeon John Hunter, who lived in the 18th century. You find yourself in the middle of glass cases containing jars filled with formaldehyde and containing parts or the totality of human or animal organs. The one which shows part of the human and animal fetus is quite impressive. If you're not a fan of dissection, maybe at least take a look at these. There are also skulls that decorate the windows, making me think of the Paris catacombs.

You can also admire the collection of surgical instruments, as well as watch videos of surgical operations. Do not completely close your eyes, as I did passing in front of these, because you risk missing a game, which consists of turning into a surgeon and performing an endoscopy. Not everyone's cup of tea but still fun. You will need to handle the camera with one hand and place each small object in the hole of the corresponding shape!

There are also sections focusing on plastic surgery during the war, anesthesia, skeletons (including one from an Irish giant, who was about 2.3m), and a section containing paintings from the Hunter collection. It is quite similar to the Wellcome Collection in a way, but more focused on surgery than medicine in general.

In short, there is something for everything. You should also take a look at the exhibition, Transplant and Life, which focuses on the patient experience and tries to raise awareness of the importance of transplantation. Most importantly, the museum closes for important renovation on the 20th of May so go visit it quickly!
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When: until 20 May 2017
Phone: 020 7405 3474
Where: 35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields London, WC2A 3PE
Cost: Free
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by Nelson on 17/07/2012
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