Wellcome Collection

A photo of a city centre building at night
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Wellcome Collection is the free visitor destination for the incurably curious.

Located at 183 Euston Road, London, it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The venue offers visitors contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections, lively public events, the world-renowned Wellcome Library, a café, a shop and conference facilities as well as publications, tours, a book prize, international and digital projects. Wellcome Collection is part of the Wellcome Trust.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Science centre, Library

Opening hours

Monday galleries closed
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 22:00
Friday 10:00 - 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 18:00
Sunday 11:00 - 18:00

Admission charges

FREE to everyone

Items from this collection

Collection details

Fine Art, Medicine, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Science and Technology, Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

  • Charles Darwin
  • Napoleon
  • Mark Quinn
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of medicine now gallery

Medicine Now

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This exhibition presents a range of ideas about science and medicine since Henry Wellcome's death in 1936. It reflects the experiences and interests of scientists, doctors and patients.

Within the huge field of medicine this exhibition attempts to focus on only a few topics: the body, genomes, obesity and living with medical science. Each is explored through a range of exhibits from science and everyday life, as well as artistic responses to the issues presented in red 'art cubes'.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



Medicine Man

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Henry Wellcome was a man of many parts: entrepreneur, philanthropist, patron of science and pioneer of aerial photography. He also created one of the world's great museums: a vast stockpile of evidence about our universal interest in health and the body.

More than 150 years after his birth in 1853, this exhibition reunites a cross-section of extraordinary objects from his collection, ranging from diagnostic dolls to Japanese sex aids, and from Napoleon's toothbrush to George III's hair. It also provides a very different perspective on some of our own obsessions with medicine and health.

In 'Medicine Man' some objects are gathered by type and others by broad cross-cultural themes. Seven other objects are presented individually and are examined by a variety of commentators from different backgrounds, to show that one object can mean many different things and tell many different stories.

This exhibition is free. See opening hours. Some non-flash photography is permitted in this exhibition. See our photography policy.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children



Masked man in pink tutu

The Institute of Sexology

  • 20 November 2014 — 20 September 2015 *on now

'The Institute of Sexology’ tells the complex and often contradictory story of the study of sex through its pioneers.

Featuring over 200 objects spanning art, erotica, film and photography, 'The Institute of Sexology' is the first UK exhibition to bring together the pioneers of the study of sex including Magnus Hirschfeld, Sigmund Freud, Marie Stopes, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Mead, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, and the team behind Natsal.

From Alfred Kinsey’s complex questionnaires to the contemporary National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), the exhibition investigates how the practice of sex research has shaped our ever-evolving attitudes towards sexual behaviour and identity. Moving between pathologies of perversion and contested ideas of normality, it shows how sex has been observed, analysed and questioned from the late 19th century to the present day.

This is the first of our longer exhibitions in our newly opened Gallery 2. ‘The Institute of Sexology’ will evolve over the course of the year, with new commissions, live interventions, discussions and performances within the gallery space. The exhibition is part of a wider Sexology Season of activity across the country including Brighton, Southampton, Manchester and Glasgow.

Please note that ‘The Institute of Sexology’ includes exhibits and live events of a sexual nature.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+



banner for forensics exhibition at the Wellcome collection

Forensics: The anatomy of crime

  • 26 February — 21 June 2015 *on now

'Forensics: the anatomy of crime’ explores the history, science and art of forensic medicine. It travels from crime scene to courtroom, across centuries and continents, exploring the specialisms of those involved in the delicate processes of collecting, analysing and presenting medical evidence. It draws out the stories of victims, suspects and investigators of violent crimes, and our enduring cultural fascination with death and detection.

The exhibition contains original evidence, archival material, photographic documentation, film footage, forensic instruments and specimens, and is rich with artworks offering both unsettling and intimate responses to traumatic events. Challenging familiar views of forensic medicine shaped by fictions that came out of the sensational reporting of late Victorian murder cases and popular crime dramas, ‘Forensics’ highlights the complex entwining of law and medicine, and the scientific methods it calls upon and creates.



The Catalogue for the Public Library of Private Acts

  • 13 — 24 May 2015 *on now

An interactive piece by artist Johanna Linsley that imagines a library that doesn’t exist yet. This hypothetical library makes available for the first time the entire array of human experience, insofar as that experience occurs behind closed doors, with curtains drawn and voices hushed. The library specialises in the unspoken, the only imagined and the secretly shared. It champions autonomy and tolerates lies, then betrays its own subject by throwing its doors wide, wide open.

Or that’s what we hope. Assisted by audio recordings and live interventions, visitors are invited to contribute to a catalogue for this not-yet-existent library, with the aim of calling it into being.

Johanna Linsley is an artist, researcher and producer with an interdisciplinary approach focusing on performance. She is part of the London-based live art producing team I’m With You, which investigates queerness, domesticity, private life and public space. She is also a founding partner of UnionDocs, a centre for experimental documentary in Brooklyn, New York.



photograph of turntable from Alice Anderson's Travelling Factory

MEMORY MOVEMENT MEMORY OBJECTS: Alice Anderson at Wellcome Collection

  • 23 July — 18 October 2015

In July 2015 Wellcome Collection will present a major exhibition of works by acclaimed artist, Alice Anderson: ‘Memory Movement Memory Objects’. Anderson’s sculptures are entirely mummified in copper thread, creating glistening landscapes of beautiful, uncanny and transformed objects. Each piece is an exploration and act of memory. Both the making and display of works interrogate how we create, recall, transform and seal the past and imagine the future. Over 100 works will be displayed and, uniquely, visitors will be invited to contribute to the creation of a new work during the run of the exhibition, as a car from the artist’s life is mummified in the gallery.

The gallery will carry the mesmerising glint of displayed treasure, akin to entering a Pharaoh’s tomb, but the objects on show are fashioned relics, or new archaeology. Strikingly lit, the sheen of copper is, for the artist, key to the absorbing physical and mental experience of entombing objects. The process of mummification is simultaneously a gesture of protection and an invocation of death, and Anderson’s exquisite sculptures pose challenging questions about the comforts and consolations of creating and sharing memories. Offering an alternative way of remembering, the exhibition will animate the terrain where movement, objects and consciousness meet.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old and Having Sex

  • 23 May 2015 2-3:30pm *on now

Lois Weaver has been touring the country as her alter-ego, Tammy WhyNot, investigating the subject of sex and ageing. ‘What Tammy Needs to Know about Getting Old and Having Sex’, Tammy’s latest performance, was created with older participants across the UK. It is a musical exploration on the taboo subjects of desire, pleasure and intimacy in people aged 50 and over.

In preparation for the tour, Tammy has conducted a series of workshops and performance interventions with older people in Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow and London. The show will feature special guest appearances by a range of sexperts and Tammy’s very own chorus of WhyNets, as well as tracks from her comeback album.

Lois Weaver is a lecturer, performance artist, writer, director and activist. She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theatre, Split Britches Company and the WOW Theatre in New York and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop Theatre in London.



Adventures in Human Being

  • 28 May 2015 7-8pm

We have a lifetime’s association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. In his book ‘Adventures in Human Being’, Gavin Francis leads the reader through the landscapes of the body, exploring it from literary, artistic, clinical and cultural points of view.

Offering insights from the pulsating surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart, from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot, he draws on his experiences as a physician and award-winning travel writer and blends first-hand case studies with reflections on the ways the body has been imagined and portrayed over millennia.

The body can feel like a foreign country to some of us, and the practice of medicine an exploration of new territory. Join Gavin Francis in conversation for an adventure through what it is to be human.



Perspective speaker tour with Peter Dean

  • 28 May 2015 5:30-6:30pm

Qualified in both dentistry and medicine, Dr Peter Dean worked as a police surgeon, or forensic medical examiner, with the Metropolitan Police for 27 years. After legal studies, he became a coroner. He advises on the forensic aspects of several television crime series.



Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
Greater London



Watch the trailer for Forensics: the anatomy of crime



General enquiries


Media enquiries



020 7611 2222

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.