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Review of Mutter Museum

Mutter Museum
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Mutter Museum General Admission
Ranked #45 of 465 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This museum, located at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, is one of the finest medical history museums in America. The Mütter is a 19th century style cabinet museum displaying medical artifacts such as anatomical specimens and medical instruments. Marvel at the beauty and strangeness of the human body. The Mütter is home to many notorious exhibits including Harry Eastlack's skeleton, the Megacolon, the Soap Lady, and the Hyrtl Skull Collection. It's also the only place to have pieces of Einstein's brain on display. Admission to the museum also includes admission to the Thomson Art Gallery, featuring medical-themed art, and the Benjamin Rush Medicinal Plant Garden. A visit to the Mütter is unforgettable...prepare yourself to be disturbingly informed.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

We just returned from a visit to the Mutter Museum. What a disappointment. First of all, the admission price is extremely high for the size of the museum. $15 admission for what amounts to one large room. If you look at the building itself before you go in, you would assume the museum covers the entire building.

The museum itself is very poorly organized. As others have stated, many of the descriptions accompanying the specimens shown are on very old, small, handwritten cards, now barely legible. Many of the most interesting things to see are on glassed in shelves that are at floor level, so you would have to kneel down and lean forward to actually be able to see anything, much less read the descriptive cards.

This is not a museum for the squeamish or children. Many of the "exhibits" are glass jars of fetuses with terrible defects. There is a large human skull exhibit, but as to its' purpose, one can only imagine.

There is no one to help you if you have any questions. The "guards" were busy talking, chewing or texting, and it seemed like their only function was to keep people from tapping on the glass or taking photos.

You can see this entire museum in an hour or less. The only reason it could possibly take longer is that you are waiting for someone to get out of the way, are trying to squat to read the tiny print, or get back up.

One of my traveling companions for the day said that this museum felt more like a circus side show, and indeed, a $5 sideshow admission would have been more appropriate.

I imagine if you are in the medical field, there are things here that would be an important learning experience. For the rest of us, not so much.

2  Thank MiouMiou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"medical oddities"
in 238 reviews
in 140 reviews
"body parts"
in 99 reviews
"human body"
in 94 reviews
"einstein's brain"
in 60 reviews
"soap lady"
in 57 reviews
"medical field"
in 46 reviews
"conjoined twins"
in 44 reviews
"college of physicians"
in 36 reviews
"weak stomach"
in 31 reviews
"civil war"
in 59 reviews
"wax models"
in 27 reviews
in 25 reviews
"shrunken heads"
in 20 reviews
"medical conditions"
in 15 reviews
"on display"
in 83 reviews
"no photography"
in 23 reviews

992 - 996 of 1,463 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2013

I was truly looking forward to this museum and the new exhibit about medicine during the Civil War. Not only was the museum exactly as described by previous posts (poorly lit, typewritten explanations, very cramped) but the new attraction was not yet opened. My group was one of various medical professionals. While the material was interesting, it sure wasn't great.

Thank Jan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

If you have any interest in medical oddities this is the place for you. I went with a fellow nurse and we found some of the exhibits very interesting. This is not an attraction for someone with a weak stomach. I do think the admision price was a bit high and was also disappointed in the layout, many of the exhibits were so low that you spent a good bit of your tour squatting down to see the lower exhibits. All in all it was an interesting attraction. With that being said, it is not a museum I would have to visit it again.

1  Thank iluv2travel2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

The Mütter is a great visit - one I've looked forward to for years. There is a lot of good information about the history medical education mixed in the the specimens and, honestly, it's the specimens most people are looking for. Skeletons, wet specimens (e.g., fetuses in jars), medical models (in papier mache and wax), and preserved specimens. It's not for everyone, but for those who are interested, it's great. I only wish it was larger. The entrance fee wasn't too bad, but the gift shop is overpriced.

Thank Eddie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 1, 2013

This museum is very interesting, but for $15 per person, you would do better to spend more time at one of Philadelphia's more up-to-date museums. The lighting is horrible, many of the exhibits are wax models, and some of the older specimens in jars are really impossible to see. You must squat to the floor to see about a third of the exhibits. The museum hasn't been updated in decades. Nonetheless, there are many cool, some might say nightmare-inducing, human abnormalities.

Thank Susan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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