The Clendening History of Medicine Museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts illustrating healing and medicine across historical time and through the variety of human cultures. The mission of the museum is to collect, preserve, study, and exhibit materials that advance our knowledge of medicine, encompassing healing practices across the full span of human history. These collections trace their origin to the passionate effort of Dr. Ralph Major, the first chair of the Department of the History and Philosophy of Medicine, who followed the footsteps of the Department's founder, Logan Clendening and who has been succeeded by a series of physician-collectors from Dr. Leroy Calkins to Dr. Tony Kovac and Dr Marc Asher. All have hoped to leave a legacy of historical materials for the appreciation of our visitors.
Among the strengths of the collection are instruments from nineteenth- and twentieth-century American medicine, with a special emphasis on medical practice in Kansas. Materials illustrative of the ancient, medieval and early modern eras include notable collections of Etruscan, Roman, Babylonian, Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, and pre-Columbian artifacts. Pieces of exceptional artistic value include original paintings and lithographs and Japanese and Chinese woodblock prints and scrolls. Focused collections have been independently developed illustrating American Civil War medicine, the medicine of World War I and World War II, and twentieth-century anesthesiology.
The curators of the museum regularly feature exhibits in the foyer of the Clendening Library drawn from the Museum's extensive collections, as well as collaborative exhibits celebrating the KU Medical Center's Diversity Initiative. Recent exhibits, often developed in partnership with the KUMC Archives, have included: 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, and a display of works by disabled artists from the region. The museum also mounts a variety of traveling exhibits that it makes available in other venues.
“Wyandotte County History Hunt”
We are kicking off on May 20th, a new and exciting program involving the Museums and Historical Sites of Wyandotte County. The “Wyandotte County History Hunt” takes the idea of a passport and adds a scavenger hunt and a trivia element, resulting in a fun way to learn about history while exploring Wyandotte County’s colorful past. This family friendly activity can also win you prizes! By completing your passport with the correct answers gained by visiting each site, you will be eligible to win weekly prizes and a grand prize drawn September 14th, the day of the WYCO Museum and Historical Site Crawl. The earlier you complete the passport the more chances you have to win prizes such as Kansas City T-Bones, Sporting KC, Kansas Speedway and Schlitterbahn tickets. This will be a fun and interactive way to spend your summer with your friends and family!
§ “ Wyandotte County History Hunt” 20th – September 14th.
§ Weekly drawings start June 5th.
§ 12 locations and questions.
Winners under the age of 18 must have parent or legal guardian present to claim prizes.
You can mail or drop off your completed passport at any of the participating museums during regular business hours.
Down load the Passport (Click here)
The Museum is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Questions about the Museum can be answered by Matthew Scanlon, Museum Curator or Nancy Hulston, Museum Director. He can be reached by phone at 913.588.7042 or by e-mail at email@example.com, or she maybe reached at 913.588.7243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.