Historical brains

Today I visited the Wellcome Collection to see their latest exhibit, Brains. I thought it was wonderful! Through a selection of objects, specimens, historical and contemporary print media and video the exhibit brought to life both the important figures in the history of neuroscience and the wider public’s attitudes to the brain over time. This combination gave a real sense of how the brain has and now sits within science and culture.

Some of the historic documents reminded me of an object I have at home. Whilst rummaging through the items in an antique print shop on Bermondsey Street before Christmas, I stumbled across a document from the late 1800s entitled ‘Model of the head’. Although rather bland on the outside, when I opened it I found a series of beautiful plates illustrating the head from scalp to skull to brain. They were arranged so you could lift layers away one by one to see deeper and deeper into a person’s head. It is stunning! Here are some pictures…

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