The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

venue representative image
Food icon Shop icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

The University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery is home to one of the top five collections in Scotland, with over a million items ranging from meteorites to Mackintosh and mummies.

The Hunterian is the legacy of Dr William Hunter, a pioneering obstetrician and teacher. His passion for collecting was legendary. Hunter was born and raised locally and was a student at the University of Glasgow. He moved to London in 1741, where he found fame and fortune as physician to the Royal family and teacher of anatomy and surgery. Hunter lavished his wealth on building up his vast and varied private collection.

When he died in 1783 he left his entire collection to the University of Glasgow, along with the money to create a suitable museum. The Hunterian opened its doors in 1807, making it Scotland's oldest public museum.

The present day Hunterian is spread across four sites on the University campus. The purpose built Hunterian Art Gallery and Mackintosh House are in Hillhead Street. The Hunterian Museum is in the Main University building on University Avenue. The Zoology Museum is in the Graham Kerr building and the Anatomy Museum is in the Thomson building.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Open: Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5.00pm

For group visits, prior booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

Closed Sundays and public holidays

Admission charges

Admission to the Museum and Art Gallery is free. Admission charge for The Mackintosh House.

The Hunterian collections are extensive and wide-ranging with just over one million objects. The recently published Scottish National Audit of all museum collections ranked the Hunterian as third in Scotland in terms of overall collection size, and in terms of the proportion of our collections which are of international importance.

Items from this collection

Collection details

Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art, Medicine, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Photography, Science and Technology, World Cultures

Key artists and exhibits

  • Asante Weights
  • Coins
  • Captain Cook
  • Dinosaurs
  • Egyptians
  • Hominid Evolution
  • Romans
  • Art Gallery: Mackintosh House, Glasgow Boys, Mackintosh Collection, Scottish Colourists, Whistler Collection
  • William Hunter and Anatomy
  • Zoololgy: Animal Architecture, Birds, Corals, Insects, Invertebrates, Mammals, Reptile, Amphibians, Fish
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

The Mackintosh House

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Hunterian Art Gallery houses one of the most important collections of the work of Scottish architect, designer and artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) and his artist-wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (1864-1933).‌

The Mackintosh House is a meticulous reassemblage of the principal interiors from the Mackintoshes’ Glasgow home. The couple lived at 78 Southpark Avenue (originally 6 Florentine Terrace) from 1906 to 1914. Substantial alterations were made in 1906 as Mackintosh remodelled the proportions and natural lighting of the Victorian end-of-terrace house. The principal interiors were decorated in his distinctive style, remarkable then, and now, for the disciplined austerity of the furnishings and decoration.

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/collections/permanentdisplays/themackintoshhouse/#d.en.199546

Hunterian Art Gallery

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Hunterian Art Gallery boasts one of the most distinguished public art collections in Scotland. Its permanent displays include 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 reassembled interiors from his Glasgow home.

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/collections/permanentdisplays/hunterianartgallery/#d.en.352135

Lord Kelvin: Revolutionary Scientist

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This permanent display is based around the life and work of William Thomson, or Lord Kelvin, Glasgow's greatest scientist. ‘Lord Kelvin: Revolutionary Scientist’ uses The Hunterian's world-famous collection of historical items and original scientific instruments to bring alive the story of a unique and humble man.

Along with such luminaries as Darwin and Lister, Lord Kelvin was a giant in the world of science, and his achievements make him one of Glasgow’s most famous citizens. Although born in Belfast, he came to Glasgow at a very young age and made the city his life-long home.

‘Lord Kelvin’ was the title William Thomson took when he was made the first ‘science lord’. He taught at the University of Glasgow for fifty-three years and became its Chancellor. In Glasgow his contribution to safety at sea was probably most profoundly appreciated because of the shipbuilding and international trading connections.

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/collections/permanentdisplays/lordkelvin/#d.en.199543

A Healing Passion: Medicine in Glasgow Past and Present

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Hunterian was built on the founding bequest of Dr William Hunter whose medical collections were the core of his career, museum and success.

‘A Healing Passion’ is a permanent display dedicated to medicine in Glasgow and draws on these unique collections to reflect the illustrious heritage of the region.‌

Glasgow and the West of Scotland continue to play an important part in the history of medicine and ground-breaking medical research, producing many key figures and significant achievements. ‘A Healing Passion’ explores major and lesser known figures in medicine and showcases their achievements covering anatomy, pathology, surgery, obstetrics and public health.

Of particular interest are some of William Hunter’s original 18th century anatomical and pathological specimens, Joseph Lister’s carbolic spray, some of the first X-Ray films made by John MacIntyre, and one of the first ultrasound scanners ever developed. The adjacent 'Science Showcase' features medical research topics from time to time.

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/collections/permanentdisplays/ahealingpassion/#d.en.199544

The Antonine Wall: Rome's Final Frontier

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Built around AD 142 in the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius, the Antonine Wall ran coast-to-coast across Scotland from the Clyde to the Firth of Forth.

This permanent gallery at the Hunterian Museum showcases the collection of spectacular monumental sculpture and other Roman artefacts recovered from the Wall, including richly sculptured distance slabs, unique to the frontiers of the Roman Empire.

'The Antonine Wall: Rome's Final Frontier' explores the biography of this important Roman monument and through The Hunterian's rich collections investigates four key themes: The building of the Wall, its architecture and impact on the landscape; the role of the Roman army on the frontier, the life and lifestyle of its soldiers; the cultural interaction between Roman and indigenous peoples, and evidence for local resistance; and the abandonment of the Wall and the story of its rediscovery over the last 350 years.

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/collections/permanentdisplays/theantoninewall/#d.en.199542

William Hunter: Man, Medic and Collector

  • 1 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This permanent exhibition tells the story of Dr William Hunter, the Scottish obstetrician, teacher, collector and founder of the Hunterian Museum.

The display explores Hunter’s personal and professional life and highlights both his passion for collecting and his hugely successful career as a royal physician, outstanding teacher of anatomy and surgery and pioneering scientific researcher.

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/collections/permanentdisplays/williamhunter/#d.en.199545

Moments in History: William Hunter's British Medals

  • 10 March 2016 — 29 January 2017 *on now

Moments in History is the first exhibition ever to focus on William Hunter’s British medals - an outstanding collection considered to be one of the best in the world.

There are 932 British medals in Hunter’s collection and this special new exhibition highlights 108 of them.

The beautifully crafted, intricate works of art in gold, silver and bronze date from 1524 to 1781 and have been divided into a wide range of themes, from the pomp and pageantry of royal events, through to the bitter chaos of the English Civil War, dramatic Jacobite risings and the flourishing of the arts and sciences during the Enlightenment.

Highlights include Henry VIII, Supremacy of the Church, one of the earliest medals made in Britain in 1545
Dangers Averted, a medal given by Elizabeth I as a reward to naval officers after the destruction of the Spanish Armada in 1588
the only medal to be struck relating to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and the Charles I Scottish Coronation (pictured), one of only three surviving in gold from 1633.

Medals are just one artistic medium through which an individual or event can be remembered, celebrated, or even satirised and used as propaganda. This exhibition brings to life the personalities and stories behind the medals, each one capturing unique moments in history that shaped our world.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/visit/exhibitions/exhibitionprogramme/momentsinhistory/#d.en.434506

William Hunter to Damien Hirst: The Dead Teach the Living

  • 25 March 2016 — 5 March 2017 *on now

This new exhibition features the premiere of Damien Hirst's Necromancer (2007) plus objects and artworks that explore the historical and contemporary connections between art and science.

William Hunter to Damien Hirst: The Dead Teach the Living also features rarely seen items from the collections of Hunterian founder Dr William Hunter, plus new works by artists Scott Rogers and Catherine Street.

The exhibition is curated by students from the MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) programme, established jointly between the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art.

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/visit/exhibitions/exhibitionprogramme/williamhuntertodamienhirst/#d.en.434507

Renaissance Prints: Mantegna, Marcantonio and Parmigianino

  • 8 July 2016 — 22 January 2017 *on now

The Hunterian has an exceptional collection of engravings by Italian Renaissance artists and this exhibition focuses on the production of three major figures: Andrea Mantegna, Marcantonio Raimondi and Parmigianino.

Through examples of some of their finest prints we follow the changes that took place in the way artists made and used prints in the period 1460-1540.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/visit/exhibitions/exhibitionprogramme/renaissanceprints/#d.en.434508

Skeletons: Our Buried Bones

  • 19 August 2016 — 8 January 2017 *on now

This special exhibition unearths the stories behind four skeletons from the Museum of London’s 20,000-strong collection and four from burial grounds across Scotland.

On display together for the first time, they reveal rich and eventful life stories, with individuals coming from diverse locations and periods of time, from the plague pits of urban London to the beaches of South Uist.

Using the latest scientific methods, careful analysis by experts has provided insights into the health and history of each individual, bringing to life stories that have long been hidden beneath the ground.

Each skeleton exhibits pathologies that expose the multiple challenges of life in the past, from fractures and trauma, cancer and the effects of syphilis, to rickets, arthritis and tooth decay.

Research has also shed new light on the grounds they were discovered in and the circumstances in which they were buried.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/visit/exhibitions/exhibitionprogramme/skeletonsourburiedbones/#d.en.434509

Erskine 100

  • 23 September 2016 — 8 January 2017 *on now

This new exhibition commemorates the centenary of Erskine Hospital, 100 years after its foundation in 1916.

Erskine 100 examines the involvement of pioneering surgeon Sir William Macewen, in the foundation of the hospital and his contribution to the development of prosthetics, most famously the ‘Erskine Limb’.

The exhibition also emphasises the vocational rehabilitation that early patients received alongside their physical rehabilitation, considering their reintegration into society as well as their medical treatment.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/visit/exhibitions/exhibitionprogramme/erskine100/#d.en.434510

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Junior Archaeologists' Club

http://www.hunterian.gla.ac.uk:443/museum/whatsOn.php?pg=jac

For children aged 8 years and over who are interested in archaeology. The club meets at the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, on the first Saturday of every month at 10am. New members very welcome.

How to obtain

Call the museum on 0141 3304221 for further details or to join.

The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery
University of Glasgow
Glasgow
Strathclyde
G12 8QQ
Scotland

Website

www.hunterian.gla.ac.uk

E-mail

Mhairi Douglas, Visitor Services Manager

m.douglas@museum.gla.ac.uk

Monica Callaghan, Head of Education

m.callaghan@museum.gla.ac.uk

Jill Barnfather, Education Assistant

j.barnfather@museum.gla.ac.uk

Telephone

Museum

0141 330 4221

Art Gallery

0141 330 5431

Fax

Museum

0141 330 3617

Art Gallery

0141 330 3618

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.
advertisement