Epidemics and Pandemics. The invisible enemy

The exhibition explains the great plagues suffered by humanity, from a historical, scientific, technological and social perspective

From March, 20 2021 to April, 23 2023

The exhibition shows how the great plagues suffered by humanity over history have evolved down to the present day, from a historical, scientific, technological and social perspective. It is divided into 7 different sections, tracing the story from origin of life and the first microorganisms, to the current pandemic situation and related scientific research.

"Epidemics and Pandemics" explains the relationship among different living organisms, as well as the concepts of disease and health, outbreak, epidemic and pandemic. The exhibition analyses the great epidemics suffered by humanity, and specifically the experience in Catalonia, and presents the scientific and technological innovations that have allowed the world to understand microorganisms, and how diseases are transmitted and treated.

The restored photography collection of Doctor Jaume Ferran i Clua (1851 - 1929), a part of which is held in the MNACTEC image archives, serves to explain the process of vaccine development and usage, along with the work performed by this eminent scientist, who developed the cholera vaccine.

The presentation features exhibits from various periods which have helped to treat a range of different epidemics, most notably a unique disinfection cart from the early 20th century, an iron lung of huge heritage value, and a replica of a research and investigation laboratory from the period 1920-1930.


  1. A world full of life
  2. Disease versus health
  3. Outbreak, epidemic and pandemic
  4. Diseases, doctors and vaccines
  5. Public health
  6. Globalisation and the great pandemic of the 21st century
  7. At life’s limits