7 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Reveal the Strange Beauty of Brains

“A 1.5 kilogram clump of fatty tissue which is located in our head.” That’s how curator Marius Kwint describes the enigmatic subject of Brains: The Mind as Matter, a new exhibition at Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry. The reality, of course, is infinitely more complex—and this not-for-the-squeamish show displays some of the more fascinating experiments, interventions, and artworks produced with our minds in mind.

The exhibition is an extension of the Wellcome Trust’s collection of the same name, and the first time the nearly 150 artifacts have ventured as a set outside of London. The display represents an interesting intersection of art, medicine, surgery, anatomy, and culture: models, maps, historical surgical tools, drawings, video, photography, and yes, actual preserved specimens (sans Steve Martin shenanigans...) help to flesh out how our understanding of, and relationship to, our noggins has evolved over the years.

If you’re not weak-of-stomach, scroll down for some of the strange and beautiful sights, or the truly brave (and Britain-based) folks can catch the exhibition at MOSI through January 4th, 2014. [Eye Magazine]


A corrosion cast of one hemisphere.

7 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Reveal the Strange Beauty of Brains


Fat drawing by Daksha Patel.

7 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Reveal the Strange Beauty of Brains


Head Ache by Helen Pynor, 2008.

7 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Reveal the Strange Beauty of Brains


Detail of Head Ache.

7 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Reveal the Strange Beauty of Brains


Memory of a Brain Malformation by Katharine Dowson, 2006.

7 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Reveal the Strange Beauty of Brains


A sagittal section of one hemisphere.

7 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Reveal the Strange Beauty of Brains


Lead image: Sagittal sections and longitudinal section of the brain