The Clendening History of Medicine Museum was founded as the object-focused portion of the Clendening History of Medicine Library. The Museum seeks to illustrate the history of medicine to the staff, students, and faculty of the University of Kansas Medical Center. Drawing from scholarship in the history of medicine and a collection spanning from ancient times to the 20th century, it provides historical context for the educators and innovators of KUMC who are shaping the future of Medicine.
The Clendening History of Medicine Museum has collected in order to support its mission and its vision for the future. In the spirit of responsible historical stewardship, the Museum is not actively collecting at this time. The principal interpretive themes within the existing collection include instruments from 19th and 20th century American medicine; special emphasis on medical practice in Kansas; materials illustrative of ancient, medieval, and early modern eras (notably Etruscan, Roman, Babylonian, Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, and pre-Columbian); pieces of exceptional artistic value (original paintings, portraiture, lithographs, and Japanese and Chinese woodblock prints and scrolls); American Civil War medicine; medicine in World War I; medicine in World War II; and the history of anesthesiology with special focus on the 20th century.
The Clendening Museum regularly features exhibits in the foyer of the Clendening Library drawn from the Clendening's collections, as well as collaborative exhibits highlighting KUMC landmarks and anniversary celebrations. Recent exhibits, often developed in partnership with the KUMC Archives, include: the history of surgery at the KU School of Medicine, Native American culture and healing, the history of anesthesia in Kansas, Civil War medicine, a history of the KU School of Nursing, Chinese medicine, the integration of the KU School of Medicine, a display of works by disabled artists from the region, a showcase of caricatures by KUMC students and graduates, and highlights from the collection.
Museum Curator & Asst. Librarian