Now on Display

The David J. Sencer CDC Museum presents exhibitions that reflect the work of CDC and the historic role of public health in preventing and controlling diseases. New temporary exhibits are always in the works, so please check back with us.


Permanent Exhibitions

The Story of CDC
Story of CDC exhibit

This exhibition traces the origins and early history of CDC through its expansion into an agency of public health programs emphasizing prevention. The story is told through documents, photographs and objects from the CDC Collection.

Highlights include an early 20th century quarantine sign, a wooden intelligence test, Dr. Joseph Mountin’s microscope, an iron lung, QUAC sticks used during the Biafra famine, a ped-o-jet used in the campaign to eradicate smallpox, and many more fascinating items and stories.

Global Symphony
Global Symphony exhibit

Spanning 100 feet in length, this unparalleled multi-media installation highlighting the world of CDC and public health. Global Symphony communicates public health messages through intriguing narratives alternated with multimedia vignettes. The installation serves as an introduction to CDC and public health for all visitors. Narrative videos describe in depth CDC’s rich history, the agency’s contributions to the elimination of polio, the investigation of Legionnaire’s disease, the battle to stem the rise of obesity in the United States, and the study of how humans, animals, and the environment interact in the spread of Ebola.

The Messengers
The Messengers exhibit

This large-scale serpentine stone sculpture was created by renowned artist Lameck Bonjisi of Zimbabwe, who died of AIDS in 2003. The Messengers is an example of Shona sculpture, reflecting traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean culture. The intention of the artist was to honor his ancestors and to represent the strength of families. CDC has chosen the work as a symbol of this facility’s mission – to educate all who visit about the interplay of public health, culture, and community.

Collisions exhibit

This mixed-media installation was created in 2016 by artist Amie Esslinger. Collisions was inspired by the dynamic, microscopic world. It spans 5 feet in diameter and was constructed using paper, foil, balsa wood, foam core, acrylic paint, ink, graphite, acrylic varnish, glue, false eyelashes, thread, silica pellets, mica flakes, on a wood panel.

Temporary Exhibitions

CDC at 75
CDC at 75 Exhibit

Since its founding on July 1, 1946, CDC has been at the forefront of public health—the scope of its activities and accomplishments branching across the U.S. and the world. To mark this 75th anniversary, the David J. Sencer CDC Museum staff combed our rich collections and archives to identify rarely seen objects, documents, and media that provide a glimpse into the breadth and depth of CDC’s history.

Trusted Messengers
Trusted Messengers exhibit

The discovery of the deadly novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in December 2019 forever changed all our lives. Because vaccination against COVID-19 is a primary factor in reducing harm from this disease, the U.S. government launched the largest vaccination campaign in recent U.S. history in 2020. Americans’ willingness to seek out COVID-19 vaccines can be summed up in one word: Trust.