Here you can find museums, places of interest, and historical sites relevant to the subject of the Health Humanities. As this librarian operates at an Ascension Healthcare facilitiy, the states listed have been prioritized as having a presence of Ascension hospitals and clinics as well. Entries are listed alphabetically, from Alabama to Wisconsin.
Even so, the list is still rather large, and has been divided into three categories: Art Museums, Medical Museums & Sites of Interest. The first two are straight forward, but the last can contain historic sites, national parks and tourist attractions. Relaxation time is very important for one's health, after all!
Image: The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore MD
Birmingham Museum of Art - Housing over 27,000 objects, this musuem boasts collections on local contemporary artists as well as ancient Pre-Columbian works and art from around the globe.
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts - Some highlights of this museum include the largest collection of Impressionist Paul Signac outside of France, and a collection of American artists such as Georgia O' Keefe, Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol.
District of Columbia
National Gallery of Art - Part of the sprawling Smithsonian complex, the National Gallery is a gem of global art in every medium imaginable.
Pensacola Museum of Art - This small museum began life as the local jail! Built in 1906, the Spanish Revival building became an arts center in the 1950s, and in 2016 the museum became attached to the University of Florida system. Today the exhibitions range from the mid 19th century to the present, showcasing local artists and programming for all age groups.
Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts - "The seven light-filled galleries offer a diverse selection of works by regional and national artists in approximately 30 exhibits annually. Two of the galleries house permanent collections, including a 600-piece East African art collection and over 30 pieces of antique European Fine Porcelain."
The Art Institute of Chicago - This museum can be counted among the best art institutions in the world, with a permanent collection that spans centuries and the entire globe & thought provoking special exhibitions. From stars of the Western canon such as Monet, to East Asian religious iconography, and contemporary artworks speaking to today's issues, this museum is a must-visit.
Indianapolis Museum of Art Galleries - This sprawling campus includes historic homes as well as a modern museum facility. Galleries display contemporary works, American arts of the 19th & 20th centuries, decorative arts, and works from around the globe highlighting various antiquities.
Wichita Art Museum - "The Wichita Art Museum, founded in 1935...the prized collection emphasizes American art and is nationally recognized for its distinction...At the start of the new millennium, the City of Wichita complete[d] another expansion project...The new addition, finished in June 2003, provided more exhibition space, a new restaurant, museum store, research library, and much needed art services area."
Owensboro Museum of Fine Art- "The museum’s historically important complex consisting of three wings, two of which are on the National Register of Historic Sites. Its Ryan Sculpture Park complements the facility and features monumental bronzes by major American artists commemorating an ancient buffalo trace which early settlers followed to establish Owensboro. The Permanent Collection, showcased in two wings, contains more than 4,000 objects of world art dating from the 15th-century to the present."
New Orleans Museum of Art - "New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), the city’s oldest fine arts institution, opened on December 16, 1911 with only nine works of art. Today, the museum hosts an impressive permanent collection of more than 40,000 objects. The collection, noted for its extraordinary strengths in French and American art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works, continues to expand and grow, making NOMA one of the top art museums in the South."
The Walters Art Museum - Founded in 1934, the museum campus includes 5 historic buildings & contains 36,000 objects. "Moving through the museum’s galleries, visitors encounter a stunning array of objects, from 19th-century paintings of French country and city life to Ethiopian icons, richly illuminated Qur’ans and Gospel books, ancient Roman sarcophagi, and images of the Buddha."
Detroit Institute of Arts - "The Detroit Institute of Arts has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. With more than 65,000 artworks that date from the earliest civilizations to the present, the museum offers visitors an encounter with human creativity from all over the world. Visit the DIA today to immerse yourself in more than 100 galleries, or get inspired at home with the thousands of artworks digitized in our online collection."
Walter Anderson Museum of Art- "... a nationally accredited art museum located in historic Ocean Springs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. WAMA is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of artist-philosopher Walter Anderson (1903-1965). Walter Anderson’s paintings, drawings, murals, block prints, sculpture, carvings, and writings of coastal plants, animals, landscapes, and people have placed him among the most compelling and singular artists of the 20th century. WAMA also honors Anderson's brothers, Peter Anderson (1901-1984), master potter and founder of Shearwater Pottery; and James McConnell Anderson (1907-1998), noted painter and ceramist."
Saint Louis Art Museum - "The Saint Louis Art Museum was founded in 1879, at the close of a decade that saw the establishment of art museums in great cities across the eastern half of the United States...The Saint Louis Art Museum collects, presents, interprets, and conserves works of art of the highest quality across time and cultures; educates, inspires discovery, and elevates the human spirit; preserves a legacy of artistic achievement for the people of St. Louis and the world; and engages, includes, and represents the full diversity of the St. Louis community supporting it."
The Bundy Museum of History and Art - "The Bundy Museum of History and Art was established to educate and entertain the public about the history and art of Broome County; to collect, preserve, and make available to the public a collection of Bundy Manufacturing Company related artifacts...to promote and support original research and scholarship in art and history; to sponsor and organize artistic, historical, and cultural activities, programs, exhibits, and events for the public; and to issue publications in any format...Including The Rod Serling Archive - memorializing one of Binghamton’s most famous residents."
DECOPOLIS Tulsa Art Deco Museum - Though small, this museum hosts two locations and is dedicated to the modernist movement which flourished between the World Wars. With collections including traditional media such as print and ceramic, there is special attention paid to the everyday designs which filled people's lives during the 1920s-30s. Teasets, kitchen appliances, advertisements, jewelry, Art Deco as a style was infused into high art as well as mass production items. The downtown location is housed in a period building, which in itself is a work of art - both outside and within.
San Antonia Museum of Art - This museum's collection spans 5,000 years of human history, with an impresive collection of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman art, Pre-Columbian artifacts as well as contemporary Native American works. Housed in a a former brewery, the museum also boasts greenspace and a river walk where guests can enjoy a park stroll as well as the global collection of art. Past collections include modern design, local artists, and highlights from Antiquity.
Frist Art Museum- "The Frist Art Museum is a nonprofit art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state, and regional artists, as well as major US and international exhibitions. The Frist occupies Nashville’s former main post office building, a 124,400-square-foot facility with nearly 40,000 square feet of exhibition space. The city’s treasured art deco building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984."
Milwaukee Art Museum - "The Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection is broad and diverse, with works from antiquity to the present. Its history dates to 1888 and reflects the city in which the Museum was built, and the individuals who helped build it. The collection’s more than 32,000 works include paintings, drawings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints, video art, installation art, and textiles."
Mobile Medical Museum - "The museum preserves and exhibits medical artifacts and archives to commemorate Mobile's prominent place in the history of medical education and public health in the state of Alabama and the Gulf Coast."
Arkansas Country Doctor Museum - "The Arkansas Country Doctor Museum preserves and celebrates the history of health care in rural America and of the people who served their fellow man by providing that health care. Housed in a building which served as the home of three doctors and as primary clinic for the small town of Lincoln, Arkansas, from 1936 to 1973, the museum presents the life of a small town doctor and the history of medicine as it was practiced in the early 20th century."
Spanish Military Hospital Museum - Located on the oldest street in the continental United States, this museum is dedicated to the Spanish colonial period of Florida's history. Guided tours walk visitors through an 18th century apothecary and surgery. Night tours are conducted to educate on the subjects of experimental or failed medical endeavours - not for the faint of heart!
Crawford W. Long Museum - "The Crawford W. Long Museum in Jefferson, Georgia, provides educational exhibits about the life and career of Dr. Crawford W. Long, the physician who, on March 30, 1842 first used ether for surgical anesthesia. The Gallery takes you on a journey through Dr. Long’s life. From his exceptional education, to his early days as a physician and his discovery of the first anesthetic, through the days of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Come visit the site of America’s greatest contribution to medicine and learn how this “country doctor” came to be the father of painless surgery."
International Museum of Surgical Science - "The Museum’s four floors are filled with extraordinary artifacts, as well as paintings, illustrations, and sculptures that interpret the pre-modern and modern healing practices of human civilization. From early practices to today’s revolutionary techniques, the Museum’s collections and exhibits portray the mysteries, breakthroughs, failures, and milestones that have shaped modern surgical science."
The Indiana Medical History Museum - "The heart of the museum is the Old Pathology Building, the oldest surviving pathology facility in the nation. The Building is on the National Register of Historic Places...Today, visitors can explore the teaching amphitheater; laboratories for bacteriology, clinical chemistry, histology, and photography; the library, reception room, and records room; as well as the autopsy room and anatomical museum which houses preserved specimens--mostly brains, organized by pathology."
Kansas Learning Center for Health - "Founded in 1965, we have been providing health education to more than half a million children and adults. As the nation’s second oldest health care museum, our 7,000 square-foot Learning Center has interactive exhibits, classrooms, a 68-person auditorium and Valeda, a transparent anatomical mannequin. We are open to the public and to school/group health education programming."
McDowell House Museum, Apothecary and Gardens - Site of the first successful Ovariotomy in the United States. "Our mission is to promote the importance of the historic surgery performed by Dr. Ephraim McDowell and the bravery of his patient, Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford."
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum - "Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an historic building within the Vieux Carre Historic District, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum showcases its extensive collection and provides interpretive educational programs to present and preserve the rich history of pharmacy and healthcare in Louisiana; past and present."
Dearborn Historical Museum - "The Dearborn Historical Museum preserves uniquely Dearborn stories and interprets the evolution of the Dearborn area from human settlement to the present as a means of improving our diverse community. The Dearborn Historical Museum was founded in 1950. It started off with the Detroit Arsenal Commandant’s Quarters, Dearborn’s oldest building on its original location, which was used as a military head quarters from 1833-1875. Today, visitors can tour the building furnished as it was in the 19th century to learn about life during the period, as well as exhibits about Dearborn’s military history."
Mississippi State Sanatorium Museum - "Tuberculosis was an urgent public health problem when Dr. Henry Boswell appeared before the Mississippi Legislature in 1916, proposing a modern sanatorium. Lawmakers responded generously, and so did the city of Magee, donating 200 acres of land...Though the Sanatorium closed in 1976, and the facility became a care center for patients with developmental disabilities, now called the Boswell Regional Center...Housed in one of those landmark buildings, the Mississippi Sanatorium Museum offers a fascinating and multifaceted look at life and times of this vital institution, through immersive narrative and biographical exhibits and artifacts. There’s even a patient room equipped with a vintage electro-surgical unit."
Museum of Osteopathic Medicine - "The collections of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine include more than 80,000 objects, photographs, documents, and books dating from the early 1800s to the present (focused mainly on 1870–1940)...Since the founding of the Museum in 1934, other family members, DOs, and Museum supporters have donated many additional artifacts that reflect the ongoing history of the osteopathic profession."
Dr. Best House & Medical Museum - "As if awaiting the return of Dr. Best from a house call on his horse-drawn carriage, this Victorian home and medical office captures the elegance of the turn of the century. Serving a small-town American community from 1884 to 1991, the Dr. Best collection echoes reminders of a quickly changing era. Civil War, railroad and telephone artifacts all reflect the character of this family of pioneers and visionaries. The expansive and unique collection includes thousands of bottles, automotive memorabilia, clothing and quilts, to name a few as well as the fully stocked period kitchen and state-of-the-art medical equipment."
Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum & Apothecary Garden - "The Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum collections reflect the history of pharmacy and medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries in the Oklahoma and Indian Territories and the State of Oklahoma. The artifacts and ephemera exhibited in the Museum were coincident with the westward migration of pioneers, shopkeepers, families and pharmacists as well as a host of other health care providers who populated the frontier regions of the United States."
The Health Museum - "The Health Museum is dedicated to becoming an even greater vehicle for families to understand their bodies, take proactive measures to be healthy, live longer and begin to counteract the rapidly rising costs of managing health. We are dedicated to addressing the Social Determinants of Health through our exhibitions, programming, events, and membership."
The Museum at Mountain Home - "Although the Museum displays are still under construction, when completed they will illustrate the history of the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Mountain Home and the story of the development of health care in South Central Appalachia. The displays encompass the people, events and activities that have shaped medical care in the region. The rich medical and military history includes such diverse topics as Native American herbal medicine, the Veterans Association Medical Center (Mountain Home), advances in medical treatment during wartime, the development of health care institutions, and the development of educational institutions."
Fort Crawford Museum - "The Military Hospital is the only remaining structure from the second Fort Crawford. It offered care for sick and wounded soldiers beginning in 1831. Dr. William Beaumont, the post surgeon, helped found the modern study of medicine when he researched digestion at the fort during the 1830s. Although the fort buildings fell into disrepair in the late nineteenth century, a portion of the hospital building was reconstructed with original materials on its original foundations during the 1930s. It is a registered National Historic Landmark."
Sites of Interest
Vulcan Park & Musuem - The statue of the Roman god Vulcan overlooks the city of Birmingham. Surrounding grounds include walking path, picnic places and a museum dedicated to the history & industrial past of the city. Vulcan himself was created as an exhibit for the 1904 World's Fair.
Hot Springs National Park - Long before the area was known as America's first resort and 19th century health tourists flocked to the springs for rejuvination, this natural spring was very familiar to local tribes. Spanish and French colonists also visited the hot springs from the 16th-18th centuries.
Historic Pensacola - This site lists numerous locations in the historic part of Pensacola. Homes from various centuries, local landmarks and contemportary art galleries are some of the sites one can visit.
Okefenokee Heritage Center- "A regional art and history museum located amongst twenty acres of beautiful pine woodlands." This heritage site includes exhibits on Native American & African American history, 19th century technology and living as awell as nature walks.
Lincoln Burial Site - "The Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of their four sons. Constructed about 1860, the vault is at the base of a hill north of the Tomb. The Lincoln Tomb was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960; it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The Tomb is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency."
"Hook’s gathered actual antique drugstore artifacts from around the Midwest to fill the space. The jewels of the collections are the beautiful 1850’s pharmacy cabinets brought from Cambridge City, Indiana. Originally installed in Sam Houshour’s Drugstore when it opened on the National Road (US 40) in the downtown, these cabinets remained in Cambridge City until they were purchased for the Drugstore Museum. The fine ash and walnut wood cabinets you see today are not recently restored, but rather represent furnishings that have been carefully cared for by generations. Reportedly the last time the cabinets were “refinished” was during the 1940’s."
Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum - "The Museum has been housed in Wichita’s original City Hall, a landmark building constructed in 1890 and is considered an exhibit in itself. A wide variety of the Museum’s exhibits showcase life in Wichita over the centuries, from the Wichita Indian tribe—whose name the town adopted— to the cowboys who drove their cattle here, to the dawn of aviation and the City’s role as the Air Capital of the World."
John James Audubon State Park- "Three galleries chronicle the Audubon story, including the family’s 1810-1819 residency in Henderson, Kentucky. Over 200 objects are on display, including artifacts from Audubon’s Kentucky years, a complete set of his masterwork, The Birds of America...The Audubon State Park Nature Center is housed in the same building as the Museum, and sits perched on the edge of the park’s beautiful nature preserve."
The Tunica-Biloxi Museum - "The Tunica-Biloxi Museum is home to the “Tunica Treasure,” a vast collection of Native American European trade items and other artifacts eposited as grave goods by the Tunica from 1731 to 1764. Repatriation of this collection was the result of a landmark state appeals court decision that provided precedent for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990."
Davidge Hall- "Formerly known as the College of Medicine of Maryland, opened in Baltimore in November 1812 and survives as the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere continuously used for medical education."
Museum of Ojibwa Culture - "We provide both indoor and outdoor exhibits that allow you a glimpse into the Ojibwa culture and the lifestyles of the Huron. This is also where the French Jesuit Mission was located where Father Marquette resided and is the final resting place for Father Jacques Marquette."
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum - "The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the nation. The museum promotes a greater understanding of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and its impact by highlighting the strength and sacrifices of its peoples. Visitors will witness the freedom struggle in eight interactive galleries that show the systematic oppression of black Mississippians and their fight for equality that transformed the state and nation. Seven of the galleries encircle a central space called “This Little Light of Mine.” There, a dramatic sculpture glows brighter and the music of the Movement swells as visitors gather."
The Gateway Arch - "Today, the Gateway Arch celebrates the diverse people who shaped the region and the country. The dreamer, Thomas Jefferson, negotiated the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, doubling the size of the United States. The explorers, Lewis & Clark and their Shoshone guide Sacagawea, scouted the new territory and mapped a route to the Pacific Ocean. The challengers, Dred and Harriet Scott, filed suit at the Old Courthouse for their freedom from slavery, and St. Louis suffragette Virginia Minor sued for women’s right to vote. The artist, architect Eero Saarinen, designed the monument that honors them all."
Walter Elwood Museum - "Walter Elwood had been an educator in the Greater Amsterdam School District (GASD) in the early 1900’s. Having traveled around the world as a young man, Mr. Elwood became an avid collector of ethnographic materials and natural history items from every corner of the globe. He started his “museum” in the Fifth Ward School on the south side of Amsterdam...carrying interesting materials from school to school in an effort to educate students with authentic artifacts and objects. Upon his death in the 1950’s, he stipulated that the collection should be left to the Greater Amsterdam School District. Our extensive assortment of approximately 25,000 artifacts fall into four categories: multicultural, Victorian, natural history, and items that relate to Mohawk Valley’s colorful industrial past (documentary, photographic and tangible)."
Greenwood Rising - "Greenwood Rising is the flagship project of the Centennial Commission and was chosen to be built as the world-class history center located on the southeast corner of Greenwood and Archer, the gateway to Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District. Greenwood Rising honors the icons of Black Wall Street memorializes the victims of the massacre and examines the lessons of the past to inspire meaningful, sustainable action in the present."
San Elizario Jail - "In 1850 after San Elizario became the First County Seat, the need for a jail turned this previous residence (1821-1848) into the first official San Elizario Jail. The Commissioners Court approved the purchase of a pre-fabricated iron cell from Chicago, Illinois that had two areas that could hold up to 6 prisoners each. Over the years, the jail has become famous for being the ONLY time that the infamous Billy the Kid broke into a jail. Legend says Billy the Kid traveled from Las Cruces into San Elizario after learning that his friend, Melquiades Segura has been arrested in San Elizario."
Dollywood- Created by the queen of country music, Dollywood is the resort, theme park and overall vacation hotspot dream of Dolly Parton. Events go year-round, with song and dance shows (including dinner shows) that highlight each season are performed in the park theater. Water parks run in the summer months, and holidays specials are held all through the year.
Milwaukee's Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory - "The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, or "The Domes" as they are referred to, is a Milwaukee County Park and is in fact the oldest park in the Milwaukee Parks system." Each conservatory is held within a massive glass dome structure, hence the nickname The Domes. Specialty domes include a tropics climate, a desert climate and showcase dome that exhibits plants based upon the current season.