The Josephinum is currently closed for renovations.
The Academy of Medicine and Surgery was founded by Emperor Joseph II. in order to train doctors and midwives under a new scheme for civil and military deployments. From 1784 to 1788, a total of 1,192 wax models were made in Florence, laboriously transported to Vienna and exhibited in seven rooms in display cases made from rosewood and Venetian glass. Descriptions in Italian and German were provided by way of explanation. Today, the collection is housed in six rooms of the Josephinum.
Three of these rooms, subdivided into the anatomical areas of ligaments and muscles, heart, blood and lymph vessels, intestines, brain, spinal cord and sensory organs, can be visited during normal opening hours. In addition, the Josephinum houses a library of medical writings and publications from the 15th to 18th centuries as well as numerous other collections of the Medical University of Vienna which document the history of medicine and the major contribution made by the Viennese School of Medicine.