Special Exhibitions

The Mobile Medical Museum organizes special exhibitions that are on display at the museum and at sites around Mobile for a limited time only. Here is a partial listing of our recent and ongoing special exhibitions.

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Different/Fit: Eugenics in Alabama, 1919-1935

September 2021—May 2022

Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery, Mobile Medical Museum 

A collaboration with Alabama Contemporary Art Center, this exhibit commemorates the hundreds of disabled Alabamians who were stigmatized and abused during the eugenics era of the early twentieth century. It will feature a commissioned art installation by Merrilee Challiss of Birmingham and Chris Lawson of New Orleans. The piece will also address related issues such as neurological diversity, the mental health movement in Alabama, and marginalized identities in medical history. 

One Hundred Years of Insulin

February—July 2021

Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery, Mobile Medical Museum 

To mark the centenary of the first clinical trials for using insulin to treat diabetes, this exhibit examines the enormous impact of this discovery on medicine, life expectancy and the quality of life. It will also highlight the contributions of local researchers and practitioners such as Dr. Seale Harris and Dr. Samuel Eichold II. 

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Where Does It Hurt? The Enduring Mystery of Pain

September 2019—December 2020

Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery, Mobile Medical Museum 

An examination of how medical practitioners from antiquity to the present have diagnosed and treated pain. The exhibit will cover traditional herbal remedies, acupuncture and neurostimulation, the use of ether, chloroform and nitrous oxide as the first anesthetics, and the rise of opiates, among other topics. It will also address how issues of race and gender can impact the patient-provider relationship in pain management.

Dreaming at Dawn: African Americans and Health Care, 1865-1945

September 2018—July 2019

Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery, Mobile Medical Museum 

A look back at the first generation of formally trained African American doctors, pharmacists and nurses to practice medicine in Mobile. Featuring archival images, artifacts, and a newly commissioned sculpture of Dr. James A. Franklin by Mobile artist April Livingston.

Orbit: Explorations of the Eye Through the Ages

January 18—July 27, 2018

Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery, Mobile Medical Museum

Featuring artifacts from our own collection, this exhibition will review centuries of scientific inquiry and medical practice that have contributed to current understanding of the health and disability of the eye.