The Cats of Louis Wain Painting Night - Atlas Obscura
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San Francisco, California

The Cats of Louis Wain Painting Night

Create your own fantastic cat portrait while learning about the neuroscience of creativity.

Join us for an evening of cats, art, parasites, and neuroscience as you mingle with scientists and create your own extraordinary cat painting based on the works of Louis Wain.

Wain is most famed for his vast array of cat illustrations, ranging from the realistic to the cartoonish to the psychedelic. He was eventually certified insane and committed to a series of mental hospitals, and much has been made of the possible link between his mental illness and art. His tale makes for a great jumping off point to learn about the neuroscience of creativity.

In this event, professional artists Kathryn Yost and Niel Caldwell will lead you in a step-by-step recreation of one of Wain's pieces. All your supplies (canvas, paints, brushes and apron) are provided for you. No experience is necessary. At the end of the evening, you can take your creation home!

We'll be joined by two neuroscientists, Indre Visokontas and Patrick House, who will mingle with attendees and give short talks on the neuroscience of creativity and the possible link between the so-called "crazy cat person" parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, schizophrenia, and art. 


  • Feel free to arrive earlier to enjoy dinner at the Hotel Majestic (menu).
  • The event will be held in the main restaurant and offers specials on food and wine.
  • The Butterfly Lounge is connected to the restaurant and offers a full bar. (Please no outside food or beverage).
  • Street parking is available near the hotel. Valet service of $10.
  • No painting supplies needed, we'll provide them.
  • Ages 21+.


Email Bart Bernhardt at

Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.

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