The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramon y Calal




Free admission


Galleries, Museums

THE BEAUTIFUL BRAIN: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal
September 5–December 3, 2017
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5pm; Closed Mondays and Holidays

Public Symposium with Drs. Alfonso Araque, Claudia Krebs and Larry Swanson: Thursday, September 7, 3-5 pm
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, 6163 University Boulevard, UBC
Opening Reception at the Belkin Art Gallery: Thursday, September 7, 6-9 pm

The Beautiful Brain is the first North American museum exhibition to present the extraordinary drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934), a Spanish pathologist, histologist and neuroscientist renowned for his discovery of neuron cells and their structure, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1906. Known as the father of modern neuroscience, Cajal was also an exceptional artist and studied as a teenager at the Academy of Arts in Huesca, Spain. He combined scientific and artistic skills to produce arresting drawings with extraordinary scientific and aesthetic qualities. A century after their completion, his drawings are still used in contemporary medical publications to illustrate important neuroscience principles, and continue to fascinate artists and visual art audiences. Eighty of Cajal's drawings are accompanied by a selection of contemporary neuroscience visualizations by international scientists.

Also presented at the Belkin, Thought Forms is an exhibition of works that includes abstract paintings and drawings by Lawren Harris alongside illustrations from Charles Leadbeater's The Chakras (1927) and Annie Besant's Thought Forms (1901). These early twentieth century works sought to visualize states of consciousness as well as explore themes of spirituality and mysticism. In addition, a selection of Robert Wilson's contemporary works from his Mind/Brain series will be exhibited.

The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal was developed by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota with the Instituto Cajal. The exhibition at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia is presented with the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health with support from the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council and our Belkin Curator's Forum members.