Thursday, September 22, 2005
I enjoyed a long overdue visit to the Hunterian Museum yesterday. It occupies floor space in the Royal College of Surgery, near Lincoln's Inn Fields in London. The museum was refurbished about a year ago and the results are very aesthetically pleasing. The museum is a showcase for the collections of John Hunter, younger brother of the more-famous William after whom the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow is somewhat confusingly named. John was originally apprenticed to his older brother before becoming an anatomist, a collector, and a surgeon in his own right. His collections, beautifully displayed in spot-lit glass cases, include a huge range of anatomical and pathological preservations as well as natural history specimens from all over the world. Particularly impressive is the skeleton of the 'Irish Giant', Charles Byrne. There is an art exhibition on at the moment showing the work of the Medical Artists Association.
There are free, half-hour tours of the Museum at 1 pm on Wednesdays where you can learn more about John Hunter -- it's a fascinating story.