Displaying the Dead: The Musée Dupuytren Catalogue

Louis Victor Leborgne's brain Louis Victor Leborgne's brain exhibited at the Musée Dupuytren. Credit: Selbymay, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

For years, the Musée Dupuytren in Paris was the site of an unusual pilgrimage. Students, medics, linguists, and neuroscientists would travel to the city of lights in search of Louis Victor Leborgne. Not the actual Leborgne – he had died in 1861 – but his brain, which had been sealed in a glass jar, preserved in a fixative solution, and displayed on a shelf at eye level in this museum of anatomical pathology. A brain in a jar, you might think, looks like any other brain in a jar. Yet Leborgne’s brain was of particular historical importance…

Read the full article in The Public Domain Review, available online here.