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Wellcome Collection
The Wellcome Building.jpg
Established 2007
Location Euston Road
London, NW1
United Kingdom
Type Museum, library
Collections history of medicine
Visitors 550,000 per annum, as of 2013
Founder Henry Wellcome
Public transit access London Underground Euston Square
National Rail Euston

Wellcome Collection is a museum and library based at 183 Euston Road, London, displaying a mixture of medical artefacts and original artworks exploring "ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art". Founded in 2007, the Wellcome Collection attracts over 550,000 visitors per year and is advertised as "the free destination for the incurably curious". The venue offers contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections, the Wellcome Library, a café, a bookshop and conference facilities. In addition to its physical facilities, Wellcome Collection maintains a website of original articles and archived images related to health.

Wellcome Library

Three leeches in the role of physicians attend a grasshopper in the role of the patient and announce a course of bloodletting Wellcome V0011722
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

The Hub

Located on the 5th floor of the Collection, The Hub is a space for researchers to collaborate, which "brings together different voices and expertise as part of an experiment to see what new knowledge can be created".

The first residents of The Hub, Hubbub, explored the dynamics of "rest, noise, tumult, activity and work" from October 2014 to July 2016.

In October 2016-July 2018 Created Out of Mind, a group exploring dementia and the arts began their residency. "Many of the group’s core members came from the Dementia Research Centre (DRC) at University College London. The team aimed to explore what dementia means to all of us, as well as challenging definitions of the condition".

From 2018–2020, award-winning creative arts company and charity Heart n Soul took up residency at The Hub "exploring ideas like ‘normality’ and the value of difference between us all".

The Reading Room

Refurbished in 2015 as part of the Wellcome Collection's 2015 renovation, the Reading Room is open to the public.

Collections

One of the halls of the Wellcome Collection, London
'Medicine Man', one of the galleries at Wellcome Collection, London

The collection is divided into several galleries. "Medicine Man" is a permanent exhibition displaying a small part of Henry Wellcome's collection. "Being Human" is another permanent exhibition opened in 2019 designed with the helped of disabled artists and activists within the frame of the social model of disability, making it one of the world's most accessible galleries. "Being Human" explores what it means to be human in the 21st century with a focus on personal stories, and is split into four parts: genetics, minds & bodies, infection, and environmental breakdown. It includes art by Yinka Shonibare CBE, Latai Taumoepeau, Kia LaBeija, and Isaac Murdoch's "Water is Life" banner designed for the Standing Rock protests.

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 (originally on a wall in John Desmond Bernal's flat in Torrington Square) and one by Anthony Gormley. A figure by Marc Quinn was originally lying unprotected on the stone floor, then moved inside a glass case, and is also not currently on view.

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