Last Look Tour: “The Beautiful Brain”

On the exhibition’s final day, join Peter Nisbet, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, for a final reflection on the captivating Cajal drawings and contemporary scientific images of The Beautiful Brain.


About The Beautiful Brain

Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s drawings of the brain are both aesthetically astonishing and scientifically significant. The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal is the first museum exhibition to present these amazing works within their historical context.

Scientists throughout the world know Cajal (1852–1934) as the father of the study of the structure and function of the brain—i.e. modern neuroscience. One of his most important discoveries was that individual cells called neurons make up the brain (most late-19th century scientists believed that the brain was a continuous, interconnected network). The centerpiece of The Beautiful Brain is 80 original drawings by Cajal lent by the Cajal Institute in Madrid, Spain. Contemporary neuroscience imagery provides a context for these remarkable works. Read more…

 

 


The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal was organized by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota with the Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.

The Ackland presentation of this exhibition has been made possible in part by generous support from Betsy Blackwell & John Watson and the UNC Neuroscience Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine.


Santiago Ramón y Cajal, calyces of Held in the nucleus of the trapezoid body, 1934, ink and pencil on paper. 5 5/8 × 3 5/8 in. (14.2 × 9.1 cm). Courtesy of Instituto Cajal (CSIC).

 

UNC Science Expo

Visit the Ackland’s booth at the UNC Science Expo at Morehead Planetarium to sketch neurons based on the work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience featured in the exhibition The Beautiful Brain. Build a working model of a neuron to demonstrate the neuron doctrine. Food trucks and many other activities on site. Visit the Ackland and the Ackland Museum Store before or after the Science Expo: we are open from 10AM-5PM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Credit: Santiago Ramón y Cajal, The pyramidal neuron of the cerebral cortex, 1904, ink and pencil on paper. Courtesy of Instituto Cajal (CSIC).

Ackland Film Forum: “The Headless Woman” (2008, Argentina)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Tuesday, 2 April 2019 | 7 PM
Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street
The Headless Woman (2008, Argentina), Lucrecia Martel

One of the leading filmmakers of New Argentine Cinema, Lucrecia Martel’s films explore the struggle of the bourgeoisie to keep up appearances even as the world crumbles about them. In The Headless Woman, Martel’s third feature, we meet an upper-class woman, Vero, who appears to be successfully attending to the chores of her station—gardening, party planning, worrying about relatives–when she hits something after being distracted by her cell phone. Over the rest of the film, we perceive her world as she sees it, and struggle to solve the mystery of what she actually hit—was it a dog? A child? Or nothing at all? For the remainder of the film, we watch Vero recover from the trauma of her accident, and try to solve the mystery therein, all while everyone around her encourages to forget about what happened. Like Vero herself, the surface of Martel’s films are deceptively shallow. With each viewing you notice another clue—an errant sound, a stray image—that underscores of the depth of the deception and resonates with a broader societal impulse, in Argentina and many other places, to bury our darkest secrets in hopes that they never resurface.

ABOUT THE SERIES:TICKETS:
Free for UNC One Card holders; $7 general public. Tickets available at the Varsity Theatre Box Office.

The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).

Art for Lunch: Dr. Cecelia Cavanaugh

 

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Art for Lunch with Dr. Cecelia Cavanaugh, SSJ
Creative Intersections in the Residencia de estudiantes:
Ramón y Cajal, García Lorca and their contemporaries

28 March 2019 | 12:20 PM

Join Dr. Cecelia Cavanaugh for a discussion of poet Federico García Lorca and his contemporary Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Learn more about the world of Cajal and his drawings as featured in The Beautiful Brain.

Cecelia Cavanaugh, SSJ, PhD, is the Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. A former doctoral student at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Dr. Cavanaugh has since studied at the Instituto Cajal and the Fundación Federico Lorca. Her work closely examines the connections between art and science.

Her research focuses on neurobiology, Spanish art and literature, and poet Federico García Lorca . Santiago Ramón y Cajal met Lorca at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid.

This Art for Lunch talk is co-sponsored by Dr. Terry Rhodes, Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences.

Image Credit: Federico Garcia Lorca at a microscope in Pío del Río Hortega´s laboratory. ©2011 Artists’ Rights Society (ARS) New York/VEGAP, Madrid.

LUNCH
Bring your own bag lunch.

COST
Free

RSVP
Requested but not required. RSVP .

PARKING OPTIONS:   www.parkonthehill.com

  • Rosemary Lot – 100 E Rosemary St., $1.50/hour
  • Wallace Parking Deck – 150 E Rosemary St., $1/hour

Ackland Film Forum: “After Life” (1998, Japan)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 | 7 PM
Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street
After Life (1998, Japan), D. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 118 m.

TICKETS:
Free for UNC One Card holders; $7 general public. Tickets available at the Varsity Theatre Box Office.

With last year’s success of Shoplifters (2018), the Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is finally getting the attention he deserves for his closely studied portraits of people living at the margins of society. In his second film, After Life, Kore-eda brings together documentary and fiction to explore the limits of human memory to recognize love and cope with grief. The premise of the film is simple. After one dies, they enter a purgatory-like institution where they have one week to select a memory from their life to carry with them in the next world. The institution’s staff work with the recently deceased to select their memory and then, in a nod to the miracle of cinema, work to help recreate the experience so it can be permanently recorded. While Kore-eda’s humanism is on full display in this film, what stays with you is his insistence that the search for happiness requires a willingness to engage fully with our past, even those moments we have forgotten or come to regret.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).

Music in the Galleries X Family and Friends Sunday: Brain-Inspired Dance

Music in the Galleries X Family and Friends Sunday
24 March| 2-4 PM
Brain-Inspired Dance, choreographed by Killian Manning

Inspired by the contemporary images of the brain featured in The Beautiful Brain, SITES Choreographer Killian Manning has planned an interactive afternoon of site-specific, art-inspired dance in the galleries. Visitors of all ages will be invited to join five dancers in movement and dance in response to the art on view. This family-friendly event is a cross-over between our popular Music in the Galleries series and Family and Friends Sunday.

Manning’s dance is set to music by Spanish composers contemporaneous with Cajal, as well as contemporary Spanish works. She also incorporates texts from Cajal’s dream journals.

2PM: Dance performance
2:30 PM: Family and Friends participatory dance
3:30 PM: Dance Performance

This is the second of two performances choreographed by Manning in connection with The Beautiful Brain. Join us on 17 February for the first performance, this time inspired by the drawings of Santiago Ramon y Cajal featured in the exhibition.

Part of the SITES 2018-2019 series of experimental art and performances.

Printmaking Demonstration with SuperGraphic Print Lab

Watch the dynamic printmakers of SuperGraphic Print Lab in action as they create screen prints inspired by the drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Join the fun in the Ackland’s outdoor courtyard from 2 – 5 PM. Once the prints are dry, SuperGraphic will offer them to visitors to take home.

Ackland Film Forum: “Brainstorm” (1983, USA)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Tuesday, 19 March 2019 | 7 PM
Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street
Brainstorm (1983, USA), d. Douglas Trumbull, 106 m.

TICKETS:
Free for UNC One Card holders; $7 general public. Tickets available at the Varsity Theatre Box Office.

Helmed by the special effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull, whose work on 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, and many others films has made him a legend, Brainstorm was intended to be the film that would establish Trumbull as the contemporary of Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, and Ridley Scott. But the drowning death of Natalie Wood, the film’s star, toward the end of production delayed the film’s completion, and the resulting fight over whether the film was worth more in the theaters or as a liability write-off so flustered Trumbull that he gave up on directing altogether. But the film, almost entirely shot in North Carolina, is a visionary work on the capacity of virtual reality to blur the lines between what we actually experience, and what we experience through media technologies.

We will have two brief introductions to the film. The first, from George Smart, will focus on the depiction of modernist architecture in the film, including the Burroughs Wellcome building in RTP. Then, Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera will discuss the film’s portrayal of neuroscience.

Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral fellow in the Stuber Lab at the University of North Carolina. George Smart is a self-described “accidental archivist” and the executive director of North Carolina Modernism Houses and USModernist, nonprofit organizations that document, preserve, and promote Modernist design. He’s also the host of the podcast U.S. Modernist Radio.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).

2nd Friday ArtWalk: Mapping the Mind

2nd Friday ArtWalk
Friday, 8 March | 6-9 PM

5-6:15 PM: The Beautiful Brain: Forging Connections Between Art and Science. Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s discoveries paved the way for remarkable breakthroughs in neuroscience in the early 20th century. Join us for an intriguing discussion exploring questions about the brain, current developments in neuroscience, and the influence of sociocultural factors on the brain and human behavior. With Patrick Harrison (Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience), Cassie Hamrick (Durham-based Art Therapist), and Hillary Rubesin (Director, Art Therapy Institute of North Carolina). Co-presented by Stigma free Carolina: Redefining Mental Health. Free admission.

6:30-8 PM: Mapping the Mind at the Ackland: An Art and Literature Discussion Co-organized with Carolina Public Humanities. Carolina Public Humanities is teaming up with the Ackland Art Museum to explore the ways in which art can help us understand the complexity of the human brain—both physically and psychologically. Join Pamela Cooper, associate professor  of English and Comparative Literature, in a robust discussion of the short stories of Virginia Woolf, whose stream-of-consciousness writing helped lay the groundwork for modern psychology. Carolyn Allmendinger, Ackland’s Director of Academic Programs, will then guide us through the Museum’s newest exhibition, The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, featuring exquisite neuroanatomical drawings by the father of modern neuroscience. $30 per person (includes a copy of the exhibition catalog and light snacks). Limited to 20 participants, so sign up early to reserve your spot!

5 PM-9 PM Explore The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramon y Cajal during March’s 2nd Friday ArtWalk.The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal was organized by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota with the Cajal Institute, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.


IMAGE: Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Spanish, 1852-1934: Epitelio y neuroglia primitivos de ratón (Glial cells of the mouse spinal cord), 1899, ink and pencil on paper. Courtesy of Instituto Cajal (CSIC).


2nd Friday ArtWalk at the Ackland
Every second Friday of the month, the Ackland participates as a venue in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro 2nd Friday ArtWalk, staying open until 9:00 PM and offering a variety of interactive, all-ages activities in addition to all exhibitions being open to visitors. Admission is free.

K-12 Educator Open House featuring “The Beautiful Brain”

FREE!   K-12 Educator Open House 
Thursday, 28 February 2019 | 5:30–7:30 PM
Registration required

Explore The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal exhibition and the Ackland’s collection during this special evening for educators! Engage with area educators and Museum staff in conversation about the art, enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, and take a tour of the exhibition. Participants will leave with teaching ideas to use in the classroom or in the Museum. All grade levels and disciplines welcome!

*Free parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis behind the Museum in the Porthole Alley Lot. This lot may be accessed via the driveway in-between the Museum and the Top of the Hill Restaurant on Columbia Street.

Other parking options:   www.parkonthehill.com

  • Rosemary Lot – 100 E Rosemary St    $1.50/hour
  • Wallace Parking Deck – 150 E Rosemary St       $1/hour
  • PNC/Sea Turtle Lot – 164 N Columbia St    FREE after 6 PM
  • UNC-CH Swain Lot (located off Cameron Avenue) –  FREE after 5 PM

Ackland Film Forum: “Inside Out” (2015, USA)

Ackland Film Forum | Spring 2019
Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain

Sunday, 24 Feb 2019 | 2:30 PM
Ackland Art Museum
Inside Out (2015, USA), dir. Pete Docter, PG, 94 m.
Part of the Ackland’s Family and Friends Sunday program

TICKETS:
Free and open to the public!

Even by Pixar’s high standards, Inside Out is a triumph of digital animation and storytelling. But what sets Inside Out apart from other films is its use of animation to depict our base emotional responses—joy, sadness, fear, disgust, and anger—in a manner that is both charming and somehow representative of how our emotions work.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Spring 2019 Ackland Film Forum series “Fantastic Voyage: Cinematic Journeys into the Brain” is organized by the Ackland Art Museum and the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of English and Comparative Literature and presented in connection with the Ackland’s exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (25 Jan – 7 April 2019).