Medicine Man

Medicine Man is one of the permanent exhibition galleries in The Wellcome Building in London. It is dedicated to the figure of Henry Wellcome as a collector and creator of "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 extarordinary objects form 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"1.


Some objects are gathered by type and other by broad cross-cultural themes, such as:

METAL INSTRUMENTS (knives, saws, hooks and forceps)


PAINTINGS (about alchemists, doctors, pharmacists, patients, saints…)


ARTIFICIAL LIMBS (prosthetic hands, arms and legs)

  • Photos by ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#ihgroB acuL (July 2011), courtesy of the Wellcome Library and the Wellcome Collection.

Related items:


- Ken Arnold and Danielle Olsen (eds.), Medicine Man. The Forgotten Museum of Henry Wellcome, The British Museum Press, London 2003 (reprinted 2011), pp. 397

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