Grant Museum of Zoology
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The Negus collection of bisected heads
UCL Museums Top Ten Objects: Grant Museum
Case 94 behind the dugong skeleton and Case 21 near the Museum entrance
An incredible collection of preserved heads from across the animal kingdom cut in two to display brain, nose and throat structure
This amazing collection includes a chimp, wallaby, sloth, seal, pangolin, domestic dog, lemur, wolf fish, calf, rabbit and shrew, all preserved in fluid displaying the intact face on one side, with a perfect clean cut through the centre of the head on the other.
They were prepared by Sir Vector Negus who would have used to demonstrate and research the comparative anatomy of the larynx. In addition to their scientific value these specimens are also, for the most part, beautifully presented. These specimens may remind you of the work of the artist Damien Hirst who attended Goldsmith’s College, London. You can see a number of other Negus specimens at the Royal College of Surgeons, where the second half of many of the Grant Museum’s Negus heads are housed.
Sir Victor Negus was a laryngologist who did much to shape the course of modern ear, nose and throat research. He was originally based at King’s College and later at the Ferens Institute of Otolaryngology at University College London. He was also on the council of the Royal College of Surgeons. He worked mainly on the anatomy of the larynx and respiratory tract in both humans and animals.
The Museum also houses a collection of Negus’ bisected skulls.
Negus collection of bisected heads, UCL Grant Museum