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Mutter Museum, Philadelphia

(1,300+ reviews on the web)
Science Museum Specialty Museum
Founded in 1858, Mutter Museum displays an array of medical equipment, biological samples, models, diagrams, and bizarre preserved specimens. The museum itself is a section of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and includes preserved abnormal human organs, bones, and wax molds, intended to display the mystery and complexity of the human body. While many exhibits are strange and are presented as if in a Victorian-era museum, they also provide a great deal of information on the progression of medical technology. Be aware that this museum may not be suitable for the faint of heart or those easily disturbed. Use our Philadelphia vacation planner to add Mutter Museum and other attractions to your Philadelphia vacation plans.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The museum is the collection of many kind of diseased specimens used for lectures at medical schools of the past. A very big collection. You have to like to see and read about diseases to enjoy it. Th...  more »
  • This museum is an amazing experience! Would loved to have taken pictures, but I appreciate their respect of the people shown in the museum. It was very educational and fascinating. We learned a lot ab...  more »
  • I'm really glad I visited this small museum! The exhibits were very interesting. I spent close to 2 hrs here, I arrived about 5 minutes before opening and there already was a small line. Make sure you...  more »
Google
  • It was very interesting overall. Lots of cool stories and I liked the tie-ins to Grimm fairy tales and Lewis Carroll. I personally would have liked to see more examples of medicines used in the past. There was a small exhibit​ with a few but was mostly surgical instruments and anatomic models.
  • Very very poorly labelled. Seriously. The labels resulted in more questions than they answered​, even though my friend who went with​ me is medically educated, and I am scientifically educated. We ended up googling a lot about what's on the labels. Many things were unlabeled, which is very frustrating. Using my friend's words, "it feels like we have wandered into someone's butterfly collection without permission." There was also a general sense of disrespect to the donors of bodies, and to the dignity of human life in general. The body parts, dead people, etc aren't the upsetting part of the visit, but how the museum treated those things. For example, there were two children (likely a newborn infant and a 6-12 months old), whose remains were dried and hollowed out, so that the network of blood vessels could be seen. This is important medical information to learn to and teach, great. The upsetting part is, they spread the remains info a crucifixion position, and drilled a hole into forehead of each the deceased, then hang them like some kind of voodoo-y kites with spot lighting. Maybe I had erroneous expectations going in. I was expecting a natural/medical history museum, instead I got a "freak show" or horror house type "museum." If I was expecting the latter, I might have been impressed with the meager labelling for the fact that there was any at all. But then again, the latter type of "museums" really isn't something I would choose to visit...
  • Have been waiting to go for YEARS! The displays were interesting. The information accompanying the displays was easy to understand & quite interesting. Best part was the battlefield display & the skulls from around the world! Only down sides: no photography allowed in museum & as usual w/a city, parking.
  • I was very excited to visit this museum, but did not have the greatest experience. As I entered the museum, I overheard the senior couple in front of me in line having an issue with paying for their tickets. The museum clerk asked the couple to swipe their card at least twice (it may have been more - depending on how long this was happening before I entered). The clerk said the machine wasn't working and even asked them to swipe on another card machine. The visitor luckily noticed the amount on the new screen was for full-price admission, and not their senior rate. Eventually the visitor signed the receipt and entered the museum. Next up - me. Two adult tickets at $18 each. $36. I'm not a math whiz but I got that. So I ask for the tickets and am asked to enter my card for chip payment. The machine asked me to remove my card, and it said APPROVED. Then the clerk tells me it didn't go through and to try on the next machine. I was skeptical and said so, but she assured me several times it was canceled. So the transaction apparently goes through, I sign, and am given a receipt and continue my visit. Hours later I check my bank account. I have three transactions from the museum. One for $32, one for $36 and another for $6 I spent in the gift shop. $32? I am assuming the transaction did not get canceled as the clerk stated. When I noticed this, I asked my boyfriend (who was with me at the time). He said he thought it was fishy and noticed the clerk look at the receipt and throw it out from the first transaction. If the card was really denied or it didn't "go through", I have always had these receipts handed to me. Anyway, I called my bank and they are filing a dispute. I really hope this same thing did not happen to the couple in line ahead of me. If it did, I hope they notice and bring this to light. Honestly, $18 each is a large fee for a museum that made me sickened and depressed. Honestly, I expected medical curiosities but I agree with the reviewer before me that the curation of the collection is insensitive and seems to be intended to shock rather than educate. $18 each is worth it as my boyfriend really wanted to go, but finding out I was unfairly charge died $68 on this 1 hour visit makes me much more disappointed.
  • Extremely interesting medical displays. Some unsettling things. Pretty small and very crowded when I was there. Absolutely no pictures allowed. If you like skulls, skeletons, or conjoined twins, you'll love it. A few wax displays mixed in. Nice little gift shop too.