William Hunter’s original collection was assembled to 'improve knowledge of the world'.

The University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery first opened its doors in 1807. Not only was it Scotland’s first public museum, but it was also the first in Britain with a gallery of paintings. Its founder, Dr William Hunter, was a pioneering obstetrician and teacher and his vast and varied private collection forms the cornerstone of the museum today.

Permanent collection

Hunter's picture collection was formed during his tenure as Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy. He bought extremely well, acquiring, in addition to Rembrandt's Entombment Sketch, stellar works by Chardin, Rubens and Stubbs, to name a few.

The gallery houses one of the most important collections of work by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. The Mackintosh House, entry to which is through the main gallery, is a meticulous reassemblage of the principal interiors from the Mackintoshes’ Glasgow home. The principal interiors were decorated in his distinctive style, remarkable then, and now, for the disciplined austerity of the furnishings and decoration.

The museum meanwhile, holds a variety of Scottish fossils and minerals, archaeological artefacts spanning Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and evolutionary material spanning from the age of the dinosaurs to examples of life on earth today, such as insects, birds and coral.

The Hunterian

Free to all

University of Glasgow, 82 Hillhead Street, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G12 8QQ

01413 304221


Opening times

The Hunterian Museum returns to normal opening hours from 11 June. The Hunterian Art Gallery will partially reopen on 11 June with all spaces* open from 9 July.

*The Mackintosh House remains closed for now. We will provide updates as soon as possible.

Mon - Closed

Tues - Sat - 10am - 5pm

Sun - 11am - 4pm

A range of safety measures have been put in place in line with Scottish Government guidelines. As well as pre-booked timed entry, we have introduced hand sanitising stations, screens at our welcome desks, enhanced cleaning and one way routes to help with physical distancing. We would ask all our visitors to wear a face covering to minimise any risk.

*The Mackintosh House remains closed for now because of physical distancing guidelines. We’re sorry about that but will keep you updated and give you a reopening date as soon as possible.

With a National Art Pass you get

50% off exhibitions

Ready to discover more? Choose your pass

Exhibitions nearby

Back to top