The Mütter Museum is a medical museum located in the Center City area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It contains a collection of anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment. The museum is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The original purpose of the collection, donated by Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter in 1858, was for biomedical research and education. It was created for medical students to come and see in person; extremely rare conditions, and the effects of diseases that had been cured or eradicated.
America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter Museum displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th-century “cabinet museum” setting. The museum helps the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body and to appreciate the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.
The Mütter Museum originated as a collection of specimens and medical tools used for education in medicine. Now the museum boasts a collection of over 20,000 specimens, of which about 13% are on display. This does not include the large literary collection contained within the Historical Medical Library, which is also housed within the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
Today, the Museum enjoys a steadily rising reputation with annual attendance exceeding 130,000 visitors. Enjoying international popularity, the Museum has been featured on countless TV programs and specials and is the subject of two best-selling books.
The Museum Education program is geared toward middle school and high school students of diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and partners with area schools to expose students to the wide variety of careers in health care and biosciences, as well as to introduce them to the history and culture of medicine.
Features of the collection:
• Soap Lady
• Dr. Joseph Hyrtl’s human skull collection
• Plaster cast and conjoined liver of “Siamese twins” Chang & Eng
• Specimen from John Wilkes Booth’s vertebra
• Jaw tumor of President Grover Cleveland
• Rotating exhibits of photographic art and illustrations
• Tallest skeleton on display in North America
• Einstein’s brain