International Museum of Surgical Science

Dr. Max Thorek founded the International College of Surgeons (ICS) in 1935 with the  goal of promoting the exchange of surgical knowledge worldwide. The Museum was originally conceived as the ICS Hall of Fame and as a repository for its growing  collection of historically significant surgical instrumentation, artworks and manuscripts.  

Beginning in 1950 the Museum received additional donations of artifacts, paintings,  sculptures and books from many of the national sections of the ICS, individual surgeons  and collectors, and other institutions. A historic lakeside mansion was acquired, adjacent  to the ICS headquarters, and the Museum opened to the public on September 9, 1954.  One of the first exhibits installed was the Hall of Immortals, containing 12 stone statues of  great figures in the field of medicine and the allied sciences.  

Over the past two decades, the International Museum of Surgical Science has made  significant progress in strengthening its educational programs and exhibits, as well as in  the conservation of its noteworthy collections and historic landmark building. Today, the  Museum’s four doors are filled with extraordinary artifacts that interpret the prehistoric through contemporary healing practices.

Opening receptions are held the first night of each exhibition. Visit for more information.


Image: Thorek Manuscripts and Rare Book Library



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