William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum (Hardcover)

By Mungo Campbell (Editor), Nathan Flis (Editor), María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui

YC British Art, 9780300236651, 440pp.

Publication Date: November 27, 2018

List Price: 65.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum accompanies a groundbreaking exhibition organized by the Hunterian at the University of Glasgow, in collaboration with the Yale Center for British Art, to celebrate the 2018 tercentenary of The Hunterian’s founder, Dr. William Hunter (1718–1783). This publication is the first in 150 years to assess the contribution made by Hunter, the Scottish-born obstetrician, anatomist, and collector, to the development of the modern museum as a public institution.
Essays examine how Hunter gathered his collection to be used as a source of knowledge and instruction, encompassing outstanding paintings and works on paper, coins and medals, and  anatomical and zoological specimens. Hunter also possessed ethnographic artifacts from Spain, the Middle East, China, and the South Pacific, and was an avid collector of medieval manuscripts and incunabula; these were all located within one of the most important “working” libraries of eighteenth-century London.

About the Author

Mungo Campbell is deputy director of The Hunterian. Nathan Flis is head of exhibitions and publications, and assistant curator of 17th-century paintings at the Yale Center for British Art.

Praise For William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum

“There is, as the exhibition and [this] scholarly catalog demonstrate, a thread running through this collection, a way of thinking associated with the Enlightenment that led William Hunter to spend decades gathering artifacts and then specifying that they be housed in a posthumous museum.”—Edward Rothstein, Wall Street Journal

“Clear, extensive essays precede a wealth of beautiful photos and descriptions, which allow Hunter’s medical practice, book and manuscript collections, and art and other collections to emerge in the context of the social, historic, and scientific period. . . . This oversized hardcover successfully celebrates a larger-than-life man and his body of work.”—Virginia Roberts, Art Libraries Society of North America

Long listed for the Historians of British Art Book Prize