In April 1986, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the thorax and shoulder girdle was presented at the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Anatomists. These images were the authors' first attempt to correlate the magnetic resonance display of the muscles and soft tissues of the chest in the coronal plane with surface gross anatomy. The original purpose of this study was to introduce the role of magnetic resonance imaging to anatomists, medical students, and the specialty of radiology. However, this approach has been expanded by imaging other sections of the body and applying the display of surface anatomy to augment the teaching of anatomy to surgical oncology, pathology, and kinesiology. This three-part article will display magnetic resonance images and will explain how magnetic imaging of the soft tissues can visually augment the teaching of gross anatomy without dissecting surface tissues.