The Science and Art of Medicine gallery, one of the world's greatest collections on the subject, reveals the history of medicine across the world and across cultures. This fascinating story is told through a display of 5,000 objects, some beautiful, some intriguing and all interesting.

Roman tweezers jostle with artificial noses while statues of saints are matched by the magnificent travelling medicine chest of a Genoese nobleman. You’ll find treasures from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and learn about their contribution to the development of 20th-century medicine.

Psychology and public health are also covered here, along with major clinical and laboratory specialties such as dentistry, ophthalmology, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology and surgery.

A newly redisplayed section deals with other living medical traditions, including African, Chinese, Indian and Islamic practices. There’s also an introductory interactive section for children and a video in which patients describe their own feelings.

This is a wonderful gallery filled with exotic devices and historic artefacts which are bound to fascinate old and young alike.  

On display

Genoese medicine chest, c 1565.

This large, leather covered medicine chest was made for Genoese governor Vincenzo Guistiniani.

 
Re-usable condom in original packaging, 1948-1950.

'Paragon' re-usable medium-sized rubber condom, made by Georges (Chemists) Ltd.

 
Acupuncture figure, Chinese, late Ming Dynasty, c.17th century

This wooden figure of a man nearly a metre tall was used in acupuncture teaching in China.