Photograph of the Medicine Man exhibition at Wellcome Collection showing a wall of oil paintings with two visitors standing in front.
Free admission
Now on

Medicine Man

Henry Wellcome was a man of many parts: entrepreneur, philanthropist, patron of science and pioneer of aerial photography.

He also created one of the world's great museums: a vast stockpile of evidence about our universal interest in health and the body.

More than 150 years after his birth in 1853, this exhibition reunites a cross-section of extraordinary objects from his collection, ranging from diagnostic dolls to Japanese sex aids, and from Napoleon's toothbrush to George III's hair. It also provides a very different perspective on some of our own obsessions with medicine and health.

In 'Medicine Man' some objects are gathered by type and others by broad cross-cultural themes. Seven other objects are presented individually and are examined by a variety of commentators from different backgrounds, to show that one object can mean many different things and tell many different stories.

Borrow a free digital guide and learn about Henry Wellcome's wonderful curios (available in English, French and BSL).

Some non-flash photography is permitted in this exhibition. See our photography policy.


Our opening times will change for the bank holiday, between 25 August 201827 August 2018. Please check our modified opening times for details before you travel.

DayGalleriesLibrary
MonClosed10:0018:00
Tue10:0018:0010:0018:00
Wed10:0018:0010:0018:00
Thu10:0022:0010:0020:00
Fri10:0018:0010:0018:00
Sat10:0018:0010:0016:00
Sun11:0018:00Closed
DayRestaurantCaféShop
MonClosed08:3018:0009:0018:00
Tue11:0018:0008:3018:0009:0018:00
Wed11:0018:0008:3018:0009:0018:00
Thu11:0022:0008:3022:0009:0022:00
Fri11:0018:0008:3018:0009:0018:00
Sat11:0018:0009:3018:0010:0018:00
Sun11:0018:0010:3018:0011:0018:00

Access information

This exhibition is on level 1

Step-free access is available to all floors of the building

Large print guides, transcripts and magnifiers are available in the gallery