The Hunterian is Scotland’s oldest public museum and home to over a million magnificent items ranging from meteorites to mummies and Mackintosh. Within this diverse collection you will find astounding artefacts, amazing art and an astonishing array of animal life.
There are various venues to discover on the University campus - the Hunterian Museum, Hunterian Art Gallery, home to The Mackintosh House, the Zoology Museum, Anatomy Museum and Country Surgeon Micro Museum.
Enjoy your visit!
William Hunter’s original collection was assembled to improve knowledge of the world and was rich in rare and important objects. Some 200 years later, the Hunterian Museum, located in the Gilbert Scott building, contains a huge variety of objects and offers the chance to discover and explore.
The Hunterian Museum features stunning displays of archaeology, palaeontology, geology, zoology, entomology, ethnography and numismatics, with highly acclaimed permanent galleries dedicated to Roman material from the Antonine Wall, the history of medicine in the west of Scotland and Lord Kelvin’s scientific instruments.
Hunterian Art Gallery
In 1807, the Hunterian was the first museum in Britain with a gallery of paintings. Today, although most famous for our Whistler and Mackintosh collections, we have a wide range of outstanding works on show. The Hunterian Art Gallery, located on Hillhead Street beside the University Library, boasts one of the most distinguished public art collections in Scotland with works ranging from Rubens and Rembrandt to the Scottish Colourists and Glasgow Boys. It also features the world’s largest permanent display of the work of James McNeill Whistler, the largest single holding of the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and The Mackintosh House.
The Mackintosh House comprises the meticulously reassembled interiors from the house occupied by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his artist-wife Margaret Macdonald from 1906 to 1914. The interiors are furnished with Mackintosh's original furniture and fitments and decorated as closely as was possible to the original. The House presents the personal setting of this remarkable artist-couple and provides an impressive example of the concept of the 'room as a work of art'.
Hunterian Zoology Museum
In this part of the Hunterian you will see displays on the astonishing diversity of the animal kingdom. Located in the Graham Kerr buidling, the Hunterian Zoology Museum features familiar animals you may recognise - a 'cuddly' koala in the marsupial display or antelopes herding in the middle of the gallery. There are also less familiar creatures, sponges that look like glass ornaments, worms that live in the gut of a horse and microscopic marine animals. With almost two million animal species described so far (and many more to discover) we can only hope to give our visitors a taste of the range of animal variety.
Perhaps unexpectedly, the Hunterian Zoology Museum also maintains displays of live animals. A small selection of snakes, lizards, frogs and invertebrates are on show.
William Hunter’s remarkable specimens show all aspects of human form and function and reflect his lifelong successful career as a pioneering anatomist and obstetrician.
The Anatomy Museum is located in the Thomson building. Largely used for teaching and research, the collections have considerable importance in the history and development of medicine.
Country Surgeon Micro Museum
The Micro Museum is located in the Wolfson Medical building and tells the story of James Bouglas (1798 – 1882). He worked for nearly sixty years as a country doctor in the town of Carluke, carrying out surgery and tending to the sick.
There are two parts to the exhibition – a large display case which tells the story of James Bouglas’ life and two identical multimedia display screens which cover his timeline, student life and tools of the trade. Visitors can discover a fascinating account of traditional treatments, amputations, surgery in the home, tackling disease and pills and potions.
The Hunterian at Kelvin Hall
At Kelvin Hall, the University has created The Hunterian Collections Study Centre, the first purpose-designed facility in the Higher Education sector offering innovative object-based research, teaching and training for a wide educational audience. It features a state-of-the-art central collections depot, object study rooms, teaching labs, conservation and digitisation studios and dedicated conference suite.
Visitors to Kelvin Hall have drop-in access to the café and along the Avenue, which features the Collections Showcase and our small changing display. Current Display.
The Hunterian in the South
The Hunterian in the South is a rotational display at the University’s Crichton campus in Dumfries. This permanent showcase gives a flavour of our world class collections and shows a revolving programme of research exhibits reflecting our rich Glasgow offer.
The displays have been made possible through the offices of the Crichton Foundation and by the generosity of Mrs Eileen Powell, widow of the late Dr John Powell, who was Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at what was then Crichton Royal Hospital. Current Display.