The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal

The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal

This traveling exhibition is the first major presentation of Spanish neuroscientist’s pioneering drawings of the brain and brain cells, and also features contemporary visualizations that illuminate the impact of Cajal’s early work on modern day neuroscience.

Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934) made transformative discoveries of the anatomy of the brain and nervous system, work that led to his receiving a Nobel Prize in 1906. This founder of modern neuroscience was also an exceptional artist. His drawings of the brain were not only beautiful, but also astounding in their capacity to illustrate and understand the details of brain structure and function.

The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal includes approximately 80 of Cajal’s drawings, many rarely before seen in the U.S.

These historical works will be complemented by a contemporary exhibition of neuroscience visualizations that are leading to new insights, aided by technologies, many pioneered here at MIT, that allow increasingly more detailed and precise understandings.

  • Visual arts
  • Boston
  • Thu, May 03 —
    Mon, December 31, 2018


Venue map

MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Building N51, Cambridge, MA 02139


More information

MIT Museum


Developed by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota with the CSIC's Cajal Institute, Madrid, Spain. The exhibition at the MIT Museum is supported by Fundación Carlos Areces, Fundación Rafael del Pino, La Caixa Foundation, Cantabria Labs and the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C. Image: glial cells of the cerebral cortex of a child bt Santiago Ramón y Cajal,1904, (detail) ink and pencil on paper (courtesy of the Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council, or CSIC, Madrid, Spain)