Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the Hunterian

When I visited London with my sister we did lots of cheerful things, like browse for hours in the majour bookshop at Picadilly, or enjoy the animals at the zoo. But for my part the highlight of the trip was the forgotten, tiny museum called "the Hunterian". It is located at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. It is free to enter, once you have found your way there.

The museum boast a huge collection of pickled specimens, both animal and human. Mostly human. So if you are squeemish, this is not the place for you. If you are however, like me, fascinated by victorian specimen collections, and don't mind seening the detached foot or two, this is a place you don't want to miss out on.
You will find anything from half a face to show injuries, fetuses from conception to near birth (this was slightly disturbing, but not enough for me to shudder), a large collection of penises (!) and loads of animals as well. The collection was put together during the late 1700's by a surgeon called John Hunter. He was an excellent surgeon and anatomy teacher back when there was no modern medecine.
we were not allowed to take pictures in the museum , so all these images has been found online. The black and white photographs are by an artist called Elaine Duigenan

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