Lifestyle & Belief

Museum puts samples of Einstein’s brain on display


An undated portrait of Albert Einstein (1879-1955).



Samples of Albert Einstein's brain have been put on display at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Lucy Rorke-Adams, a neuropathologist who has worked at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for 47 years, donated 46 slides of Einstein's gray matter to the museum, which is part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. 

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Einstein's brain was "carefully preserved, partitioned and distributed" after his death in 1955, and parts ended up in the hands of a number of hospitals and researchers. From the Inquirer:


A colleague gave the slides to Rorke-Adams in the mid-1970s, having received them from the widow of a physician who had helped arrange for the brain samples to be prepared in 1955.

Most of Einstein's preserved brain is held by the University Medical Center at Princeton. 

In an interview with CBS’ Talk Philly, Rorke-Adams said that the samples show that "Einstein's brain is that of a young person, it's really remarkable, it does not show any of the changes that we associate with age."

Robert Hicks, the director of the Mutter Museum, told Talk Philly that Einstein's brain isn't the first piece of a historical figure that the museum has come by: the institution also boasts pieces of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth and President Grover Cleveland.