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Special Notice:

The Russell Museum will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future in keeping with Mass General's efforts to limit the number of people visiting the hospital and encourage social distancing. Though the museum's doors will be closed, you can always visit us online at www.russellmuseum.org to experience a small part of our art, artifacts and history.


Plan your visit to the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation, located on the Massachusetts General Hospital main campus.

Exploring the Russell Museum

The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation opened in April 2012 showcasing Massachusetts General Hospital's long-standing commitment to innovation. The nearly 8,000-square-foot facility hosts exhibits and programs on medical topics such as:

  • The evolution of health care
  • Laboratory and clinical research
  • Patient and family support

Areas of the Museum

The three levels of the Russell Museum include:

  • The Main Gallery, located on the first floor, houses nearly 2,000 square feet of exhibits organized around various medical themes
  • The Putnam Gallery, located on the second floor, features rotating exhibits, a portrait gallery and space for lectures, presentations, receptions and other special events
  • The Rooftop Garden hosts more than 30 kinds of trees, shrubs, grasses, vines and ground covers along with sweeping views of the Beacon Hill neighborhood and State House dome. It is open year-round

Visiting the Ether Dome

The Ether Dome at Mass General, the site of the first successful public surgery using ether as an anesthetic, is not housed within the museum. Located in the Bulfinch Building, this surgical amphitheater is open weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, except during faculty meetings. Call 617-724-9557 for more information.

Transportation & Parking

We encourage visitors to take public transportation. The museum is a short walk from the Charles/MGH Station on the MBTA Red Line. Parking at Mass General garages is limited to patients, their families and visitors. When visiting the museum, you may use on-street metered parking or nearby parking garages. The museum does not offer validated parking.

Docents & Tours

Our specially trained docents are available to provide tours to all visitors.  

Group Tour Information

The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital has several offerings for groups. The museum itself is available for visitors to explore at their own pace; groups of 10 or more are requested to make a reservation. We recommend 45 minutes for a group visit, which includes an introduction by one of our docents and time for self-guided exploration. The museum also provides 45-minute group tours of the Ether Dome, which can be extended into a history tour of the hospital with several additional stops.

Group visits are available on weekdays between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm with advance reservation. If your group is larger than 20 people, we can split them into smaller groups to do the visit back-to-back. We recommend the museum and Ether Dome for 8th grade and up.

The museum is partnering with the medical simulation group at Mass General to provide interactive experiences with medical simulation for interested visiting groups. These demonstrations can include either hands-on simulated arthroscopic knee surgery, or a demonstration of a medical simulation mannequin. If your school or community group of between 5 and 15 people is interested in this exciting opportunity, please contact us with as much advance notice as possible. Simulation demonstrations are limited by the availability of the doctors and the equipment. Please plan to spend an hour and a half in the museum for the demonstration and museum visit.

For questions or to reserve a group visit to the museum or tour, contact Tegan Kehoe at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation, tkehoe@mgh.harvard.edu or 617-726-4548. If you are interested in a hospital history tour but are not coming with a group, you can attend one of our public MGH history tours. Email mghhistory@partners.org to join the mailing list and get more information, or visit the Russell Museum on Facebook.

Accessibility

The museum is fully accessible for people in wheelchairs. Learn more about accessibility at Mass General.

Dining

Several Mass General cafeterias and cafés are within a short walk of the museum, including the Riverside Café, Coffee South, Eat Street Café and Coffee Central.