The Mütter Museum
of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter 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.
The Collection began as a donation from Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter (1811-1859), who was determined to improve and reform medical education. At the time Mütter was a student at University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, students were not allowed to work with patients or assist with medical surgical procedures. His disappointment with American teaching techniques drove him to Paris to receive hands-on training. Upon his return to the States, Mütter assembled the collection and offered it to the College in 1858, with a $30,000 endowment. The donation stipulated that the College had to hire a Curator, maintain and expand the collection, fund annual lectures and erect a brick building to house the collection.
Today the museum enjoys a steadily rising reputation with attendance exceeding 117,323 in 2010. Enjoying international popularity, the museum has been featured in a recent documentary on the Discovery Channel and is the subject of two previous best-selling books.
For more information, visit http://www.collphyphil.org/site/mutter_museum.html
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia was founded in 1787, the oldest professional medical organization in the country, when 24 physicians of 18th-century Philadelphia gathered "to advance the science of medicine and to thereby lessen human misery." Today, over 1,400 Fellows (elected members) continue to convene at the College and work towards better serving the public. Throughout its history, the College has provided a place for both medical professionals and the general public to learn about medicine as both a science and as an art.
The College is home to the Mütter Museum and the Historical Medical Library. The College’s programs reflect their reverence for the past, commitment to the present, and vision for the future of medicine and health.