Free admission Now on

Medicine Man

Explore the fascinating life of Henry Wellcome through the objects of his extraordinary collection

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).

This exhibition is free. See opening hours. Some non-flash photography is permitted in this exhibition. See our photography policy.


Galleries
Day Times
Monday Galleries closed
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 22:00
Friday 10:00 - 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 18:00
Sunday 11:00 - 18:00
Library
Day Times
Monday 10:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 20:00
Friday 10:00 - 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday Library closed
Restaurant
Day Times
Monday Restaurant closed
Tuesday 11:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 18:00
Thursday 11:00 - 22:00
Friday 11:00 - 18:00
Saturday 11:00 - 18:00
Sunday 11:00 - 18:00
Café
Day Times
Monday 08:30 - 18:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 18:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 18:00
Thursday 08:30 - 22:00
Friday 08:30 - 18:00
Saturday 09:30 - 18:00
Sunday 10:30 - 18:00
Shop
Day Times
Monday 09:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 18:00
Thursday 09:00 - 22:00
Friday 09:00 - 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 18:00
Sunday 11:00 - 18:00

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