Brains: The Mind as Matter at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry

By Culture24 Reporter | 05 July 2013

Exhibition preview: Brains: The Mind as Matter, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, July 26 2013 – January 4 2014

A photo of a brain inside a jar
© Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London
Touring from the Wellcome’s imperious collection, this cerebral show has an intriguing local literary angle on its visit to Manchester: On the Body and Soul, an anonymous manuscript from 1495, will go on public display here for the first time, loaned from The John Rylands Library.

That venue has also provided The Brain as an Organ of Mind, whose writer, H Charlton Bastion, depicted 23 “Brain Weights of Distinguished Men” – a kind of who’s who of Britain, including the 63-ounce head space of German thespian Friedrich Schiller – when it was produced in 1890.

There are more than 100 exhibits in total, including documents recounting the world’s first production brain scanner in Manchester.

“The brain - or at least its importance - is very much a discovery of the modern age, and its exploration will keep us busy for decades to come,” admits curator Marius Kwint, who says Manchester “has long been at the forefront” of brain research and treatment.

“It’s not surprising that the city at the hub of the industrial revolution has such rich resources for finding out about the brain and its history.

“By showing how the fragile organ within our heads has been depicted and treated over the centuries, this exhibition takes us on an international journey through changing ideas, both beneficial and disastrous, about what makes us human.”

  • Open 10am - 5pm (closed December 24-26, January 1). Admission free (suggested donation £3). Follow the museum on Twitter @voiceofmosi‎.
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