Exterior angled street view of copper and glass MGH museum building
Photo © Anton Grassl

Exploring the Russell Museum

The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation opened in April 2012 to showcase Massachusetts General Hospital’s more than 200 years of 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

The Russell Museum is located on MGH’s main campus. Admission is free. 

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 third floor, features rotating exhibits 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. It is open year-round.

Visiting the Ether Dome

The Ether Dome, site of the first successful public surgery using ether as a surgical anesthetic, is down the street from the museum in the Bulfinch Building. The Dome is often used for meetings. To find out when the Dome is not in use, call the museum at 617 724 8009 during its open hours. For a virtual tour of the Dome and the rest of the Bulfinch Building, click here.

Transportation and Parking

Visitors are strongly encouraged to take public transportation. The museum is a short walk from the Charles/MGH Station on the MBTA Red Line.

Parking at MGH garages is limited to patients and their families and visitors. Museum visitors may use on-street metered parking or non-MGH nearby parking garages. The museum does not offer validated parking.

Docents and Tours

The museum is designed to be self-guided, but docents are often on hand to welcome visitors and answer questions. Leaders of groups of ten or more must email to schedule their visit. For more information about group visits, click here.


The museum is fully accessible for people in wheelchairs. The museum includes 12 videos or interactive media components, all of which are captioned.

MGH Dining

MGH cafeterias remain closed to the general public; however, there are a number of dining options in the neighborhood.