The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal

9 January–31 March 2018

Exhibition Overview

Injured Purkinje neurons of the cerebellum

The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal is the first U.S. museum exhibition to present the extraordinary drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience. Cajal’s astonishing depictions of the brain—which combine cutting-edge scientific knowledge with consummate draftsmanship—offer much greater clarity than photographs, so much so that they are still in wide use today. Featuring approximately 80 of Cajal’s drawings, the show will situate them within the history of scientific illustration from the 16th to 19th centuries, and juxtapose them with contemporary visualizations of the brain. Organized by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in collaboration with the Cajal Institute, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated book published by Abrams.

(Photo: Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Injured Purkinje neurons of the cerebellum, 1914. Ink and pencil on paper, 5 x 8 1/8 in. Cajal Institute (CSIC), Madrid, Photo Courtesy Grey Art Gallery)

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