America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter Museum displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th-century “cabinet museum” setting. The museum helps the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body and to appreciate the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Today, the Museum enjoys a steadily rising reputation with annual attendance exceeding 130,000 visitors. Enjoying international popularity, the Museum has been featured on countless TV programs and specials and is the subject of two best-selling books.
The Museum Education program is geared toward middle school and high school students of diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and partners with area schools to expose students to the wide variety of careers in health care and biosciences, as well as to introduce them to the history and culture of medicine.
The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia began as a donation from American surgeon Thomas Dent Mütter, MD (1811-1859), who was determined to improve and reform medical education. Dr. Mütter stipulated that by accepting his donation of 1,700 objects and $30,000, the College must hire a curator, maintain and expand the collection, fund annual lectures, and erect a fireproof building to house the collection.
The first building to house the Museum was completed in 1863 and was located on Locust and 13th Streets. When The College of Physicians built its current home at 19 South 22nd Street in 1909, the Museum relocated with its original cases.
Since Dr. Mütter’s donation, the Museum collection has grown to include more than 25,000 objects.
The College has held true to its promise to Dr. Mütter since he donated his collection in 1859. Today the Museum enjoys steadily rising international popularity and has been featured in a film by the Quay Brothers, a documentary on the Discovery Channel, and two best-selling books.