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Visiting the Exhibition Gallery

The Warren Museum Exhibition Gallery

Hours: 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Closed holidays and academic recesses. See the Countway Library's Hours and Holiday Calendar for details.

Closed Weekends.

No Saturday or Sunday access.

Address: 5th floor, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 10 Shattuck Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115

Admission: Free and open to the public. Visitors are required to display a photo ID to the Countway security desk and sign the visitor register.

Parking & Directions: There is no public parking at the Countway Library or at Harvard Medical School for the Warren Museum Exhibition Gallery. See the Countway Directions for potential parking options and directions to the Library.

Photography: Photographing or recording the medical cases and artifacts on display in the Museum's Exhibition Gallery is not permitted.

 

Things to keep in mind when visiting:

  • The Warren Anatomical Museum is a historical anatomy museum and human remains are on display in the Exhibition Gallery.
  •  The Gallery is part of the Countway Library, which is an active study and research space for Harvard medical, dental and public health students and faculty.
  • Pencil sketching in the Exhibition Gallery is most welcome. Easels are not permitted.
  • No groups OVER 7 are allowed in the Gallery without an appointment.
  • The Warren Museum Exhibition Gallery is located in Boston on Harvard Medical School’s campus. The Harvard Art Museums and Harvard Museums of Science and Culture are located on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

What’s in the Warren Museum Exhibition Gallery?

The Exhibition Gallery displays approximately 100 medical artifacts, anatomical and osteological preparations, and medical models and plaster casts from its larger collection. This grouping represents less than 1% of the total collection. The Gallery also contains about 50 reproductions of images from several Center for the History of Medicine’s archive and manuscript collections.

The subject matter strengths of the Gallery are the history of Harvard Medical School, the history of the Warren Anatomical Museum, and the history of medical education and anatomical teaching. Specific display cases highlight the art of bloodletting, calculi and urological therapies, the development of the stethoscope, obstetrics and reproductive development, and several specific pathologies, injuries and abnormalities. Special exhibits focus on the case of Phineas Gage, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ contribution to the Warren Museum, the hip injury and malpractice case of Charles Lowell, and surgery and the American Civil War.

Warren Museum artifacts and preparations can be also be found in rotating exhibits in the Lucretia McClure Gallery on the 1st floor of the Countway and the Center for the History of Medicine Gallery in the Library’s bottom floor.

 

Educational Programs & Group Tours in the Warren Museum Exhibition Gallery

Groups of more than seven people, classes, field trips and tour groups are REQUIRED to make an appointment to visit the Gallery. Group visits are scheduled according to availability and must be requested at least two weeks ahead of time. The Museum cannot guarantee that all groups can be scheduled when desired, so it is wise to have several dates in mind for a visit. Due to the size of the Gallery, group size is limited to 15-20 individuals.

Educational programs are free and generally last 45 minutes to an hour depending on the interests of the group. Program content covers the history of the Warren Anatomical Museum, anatomical teaching in New England, and the case of Phineas Gage. Group leaders are encouraged to visit the Gallery in advance to make sure the experience best serves the needs of their group.

Appointments to visit the Gallery can be arranged by contacting the Museum by phone at 617-432-6196 or by sending email to the Center for the History of Medicine.

 

Paintings on the 5th Floor of the Countway Library

Around the atrium of the Warren Museum Exhibition Gallery are 11 portraits of Harvard Medical School professors and other historical medical figures owned by the Boston Medical Library. A list of these portraits is below:

  • Crawford Long (1815-1878), by unknown
  • David Humphreys Storer (1804-1891), by F. P. Vinton, 1889
  • Francois Herard (d.1682), by Francois Sicre, painted for Louis XIV
  • George C. Shattuck (1813-1893), by E. T. Billings
  • George Hayward (1791-1863), by Guiseppe Fagnani
  • Henry J. Bigelow portrait (1818-1890), by F. P. Vinton, 1889
  • Henry J. Bigelow portrait (1818-1890), by Jacob H. Lazarus, 1871
  • James Jackson (1777-1867), by Chester Harding
  • John Dix Fisher (1797-1850), by Alvan Fishe
  • John Homans, by Moses Wight
  • John Williams (1747-1846), by unknown

 

The Warren Museum Exhibition Gallery was named Boston magazine's Best of Boston® 2015 - Most Overlooked Tourist Attraction.