The Gordon Museum: Joseph Towne

The Gordon Museum is one of the largest pathology museums in the world and its primary function is to train medical, dental and biomedical students and professionals to diagnose diseases. The Museum houses a collection of over 8,000 pathological specimens and supports the studies of over 9,500 current healthcare students.

The museum is also home to largest and most important collection of anatomical and pathological waxes created by the artist Joseph Towne (1806-1879). The extraordinary waxes are often a source of admiration to visitors of the museum.

Wax head, neck and upper torso dissection, Photograph: Owen Burke

Joseph Towne worked at Guy’s Hospital Medical School for over half a century, from 1826 until his death in 1879. It is believed that during that time he created nearly a thousand models, many of which were sent abroad to medical schools in India, Australia, Russia and America.

Towne’s wonderful models are on permanent display at the Gordon Museum and are in fact still used for teaching today.

Wax head dissection, Photograph: Owen Burke