The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

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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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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
G12 8QQ



Mhairi Douglas, Visitor Services Manager

Monica Callaghan, Head of Education

Jill Barnfather, Education Assistant



0141 330 4221

Art Gallery

0141 330 5431



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.