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Exhibition - Medicine Man

Sir Henry Wellcome was a collector who, through his agents, amassed well over a million books, paintings and objects from around the world, aiming to tell a global story of health and medicine.

‘Medicine Man’ is our free permanent display of a small part of that huge collection. The exhibition shows extraordinary examples of the many ways in which people, through time and across cultures, have sought to understand the workings of the human body, to protect themselves, and care for one another.

It includes a wide range of objects relating to sex, birth and death, a unique collection of votive offerings, and a range of extraordinary anatomical models in wood, ivory and wax dating back to the 17th century.

Colonial power shaped how the collection was put together and understood. You can experience a series of interventions in the exhibition in which artists and writers respond to an exhibit of their choice. Addressing the collection’s colonial legacies, their responses will highlight human stories that previous histories of health and medicine have hidden or ignored.

Creative Arts
Creative Arts Creative Arts


Age Range:

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Activity Start Date:

Monday 25th July

Activity End Date:

Monday 05th September


Creative Arts
Mixed activities



Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE

Partner Information


Wellcome Collection




+44 (0)20 7611 2222


183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE UK