Da Vinci Machines Coming to the San Diego Air and Space Museum

More than two dozen fully-functional models to reside in museum for one year.


SAN DIEGO, CA -- The San Diego Air & Space Museum brings to life Leonardo a Vinci’s visions and ideas at The Da Vinci Experience, opening Jan. 31, 2009.

While da Vinci's genius as an artist is renowned, the new exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum reveals how his conceptual designs for many technological wonders we take for granted today were centuries ahead of their time.

For the past 50 years a group of Florentine artisans have poured over da Vinci’s notes and drawings in an attempt to faithfully create replicas of his many inventions, relying solely on materials that were available in 15th-century Italy. The result is over two dozen fully-functional models, 11 of which are full-sized, and an internationally touring exhibition that allows the public to experience da Vinci's pioneering designs in operation for the very first time.

Arranged into three categories — transportation, military, and mechanical — the interactive models in The Da Vinci Experience are each displayed with a facsimile of the relevant da Vinci drawing. In addition, reproductions of 12 of da Vinci’s most famous paintings in the exhibition show how, for a Renaissance artist, the arts and sciences were intricately connected. Da Vinci’s drive for perfection compelled him to carefully observe, dissect, and catalogue the world around him, and his mechanical designs represent an important facet of his passion to not only figure out how things worked, but how to make them work better.

"For all of Leonardo da Vinci's great achievements, he had his share of mistakes, failures, and disappointments," says Godfrey Harris, Exhibition Curator. "In driving himself to overcome a disadvantageous background, he successfully addressed a number of issues that he hoped would bring him recognition, status and wealth. I think we are fascinated by Leonardo because he seems to have been an ordinary man who was able to accomplish so many extraordinary things."

The Da Vinci Experience will close on Jan. 3, 2010. For more information visit www.sandiegoairandspace.org.

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