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The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852 – 1934) was a Spanish neuroscientist and pathologist. He specialized in neuroanatomy (brain structure), especially the histology (microscopic anatomy) of the central nervous system.

Ramón y Cajal combined cutting-edge scientific knowledge with a unique ability to illustrate what he saw. Brain structures are so much easier to see in his drawings than they are in photographs, that Ramón y Cajal’s drawings are still used to teach brain anatomy today.

The scientist became the first Hispanic to win a Nobel Prize in science in 1906. Ramón y Cajal was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine together with Italian scientist Camillo Golgi for their studies of the structure of the nervous system. Ramón y Cajal’s work confirmed the theory that the brain was made up of individual cells.

Ramón y Cajal was born in Petilla de Aragón, a small town in Navarre, in northern Spain. His father taught anatomy and used to comb graveyards for bones to draw.


The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal

The exhibition is at Grey Art Gallery at New York University (NYU) in Greenwich Village from January 9 – March 31, 2018.

It features about 80 of Ramón y Cajal’s drawings, and places them in the context of historical scientific illustration from the 16th to 19th centuries and contemporary brain visualizations.

The exhibition was organized by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in collaboration with the Cajal Institute. It is accompanied by an illustrated catalog published by Abrams.


Grey Art Gallery at New York University

100 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003
(between Waverly Place and Washington Place, facing Washington Square Park)

Tuesday – Friday – 11 am – 6 pm (8 pm Wednesday)
Saturday 11 am – 5 pm

Admission $5, free to NYU students, faculty, and staff

(A) (C) E), (B) (D) (F) (M) to West 4th St
(N) (R) to 8th St
(6) to Astor Place
(1) to Christopher St


 

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