The Hunterian Museum

April 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Hunterian Museum

The Hunterian Museum

Reading the news at work one day I came across the Hunterian Museum which houses a collection of anatomical specimens collected by the 18th century Scottish surgeon John Hunter who was dyslexic and thus a self-taught practical scientist and anatomist who also ran experiments on his own body. A weekend trip to the museum was agreed immediately with junior asking every day how many more days are left until we go.

I googled the museum images to give her an idea of what we will see there and was surprised she was not only scared but quite excited to go and she was when we got there, for about 10 minutes. Babies, fetuses, embryos in all stages of development, cut out internal and external body organs of the majority of animals and humans, veins, arteries, teeth, bones, anomalies, paintings… the collection is huge!



Quite an impressive spread which left me ah’ing and ooh’ing until I was told I am embarrassing others and should just zip it. I think it’s perfectly natural to vocally express the wonder however and kept at it to the annoyance of others. Junior stuck to the master evaluation of ‘This is disgusting! Oh gross!’ and summarised her experience with ‘I am bored’ in about 10 minutes. It’s a wicked place to go if you have never been and extremely close to the British Museum which we ended up going to next for some less boring artefacts. When at home, I’ve asked her what she enjoyed most at both museums to which she said: ‘Watching a lady and a man draw’ (The Hunterian does not allow picture taking, but people are invited to sit and draw the specimens in the jars). There we have it then, my next plan is to find an art class that invites viewers to sit and watch people draw.


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