The Hunterian is one of Scotland’s greatest museums and home to over a million items ranging from mummies to Mackintosh. Our collections range from art to archaeology and palaeontology to numismatics and our special exhibitions and acclaimed permanent galleries attract visitors from around the world. We have three venues at the University of Glasgow campus: the Hunterian Museum, Hunterian Art Gallery and The Mackintosh House.
The Hunterian is the legacy of Dr William Hunter (1718 – 1783), a pioneering obstetrician and teacher with a passion for collecting. Born locally, and a student at the University of Glasgow, Hunter found fame and fortune in London as physician to Queen Charlotte and as a teacher of anatomy. He lavished his wealth on building up the vast private collection which he bequeathed to the University in 1783, along with money to create a suitable museum.
The Hunterian opened its doors in 1807, making it Scotland’s oldest public museum and giving it a unique place within Scotland’s cultural heritage.
The Hunterian has undergone many changes over the years. The first Hunterian Museum, built with William Hunter’s bequest and filled with his collections, opened in 1807. It was located in the University of Glasgow’s first site, in the East End near Glasgow Cathedral. The classical style building, designed by William Stark, was open to the public from 12.00pm until 2.00pm every day except Sunday.
When the University moved west to its present location in 1870, the Hunterian collections were relocated to the Gilbert Scott building, where the Museum remains today.
At over 200 years old, the Hunterian today is home to one of the finest university collections in the world and one of Scotland’s most important cultural assets.
Admission to the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery is free. There is an admission charge for The Mackintosh House and some special exhibitions.