Wellcome Collection

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wellcome Collection
The Wellcome Building.jpg
Wellcome Collection is located in Greater London
Wellcome Collection
Location within Greater London
Established 2007
Location Euston Road, London NW1
Coordinates 51°31′33″N 0°08′02″W / 51.52582°N 0.13385°W / 51.52582; -0.13385
Type Museum and exhibitions
Visitors Over 500,000 per annum
Director Dr Ken Arnold, Head of Public Programmes
Curator James Peto, Head Curator, Temporary Exhibitions
Public transit access Euston rail and London Underground stations
Website http://www.wellcomecollection.org

Wellcome Collection is a museum based at 183 Euston Road, London, displaying an unusual mixture of medical artifacts and original artworks exploring 'ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art'.[1] Founded in 2007, Wellcome Collection now attracts over 500,000 visitors per year and is advertised as 'the free destination for the incurably curious'. The venue offers visitors contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections, lively public events, the world-renowned Wellcome Library, a café, a bookshop and conference facilities.

History and development[edit]

Wellcome Collection is part of the Wellcome Trust, founded by Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936). An extensive and enthusiastic traveller, Henry Wellcome amassed a huge collection of books, paintings and objects, on the theme of historical development of medicine worldwide. There was an earlier Wellcome Historical Medical Museum at 54a Wigmore Street, housing artifacts from around the world.[2]

The Wellcome Trust moved its administrative offices into their new Gibbs Building (designed for the Trust by Michael Hopkins and Partners) on the adjoining site in Euston Road, completed 2004: thereby creating an opportunity for a new public venue in the old Wellcome Building. The collection opened to the public in June 2007.[3]

Having been open since 2007, Wellcome Collection plans to open additional public spaces in the building in autumn 2014.

The collections[edit]

The first printout of the human genome to be presented as a series of books.

The collection is divided into several spaces. The "Medicine Man" area is a permanent display of a small part of Henry Wellcome's collection. "Medicine Now" is a permanent exhibition combining art, mixed media displays and objects to present some aspects of modern medicine and of the work of the Wellcome Trust. This area features a postcard wall where visitors are encouraged to contribute drawings.

The main exhibition space hosts a changing programme of events and exhibitions. The space has included work by Felicity Powell and Bobby Baker.

The building foyer and public areas usually include a 1950 work by Pablo Picasso[4] (originally on a wall in John Desmond Bernal's flat in Torrington Square) and one by Anthony Gormley.[5] However these are not on view during building works (2013–2014). A figure by Marc Quinn [6] was originally lying unprotected on the stone floor, then moved inside a glass case, and is also not currently on view.

Wellcome Library[edit]

Three leeches attend a grasshopper, prescribing a course of bloodletting, cartoon by Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gérard c.1832. Wellcome Library collections.

The Wellcome Library provides access to collections of books, manuscripts, archives, films and pictures on the history of medicine from the earliest times to the present day[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Art Fund. "Museum of the Year". Art Fund. 
  2. ^ "Error". wellcome.ac.uk. 
  3. ^ Photograph: Felix Clay/freelance. "The Wellcome Collection". the Guardian. 
  4. ^ "Bernal's Picasso Goes On Show In London At Wellcome Collection". culture24.org.uk. 
  5. ^ "Antony Gormley". Telegraph.co.uk. 
  6. ^ White Cube. "Exhibitions - White Cube". whitecube.com. 
  7. ^ "Wellcome Library - Home". wellcomelibrary.org. 

External links[edit]