DA VINCI INVENTIONS WEST COAST PREMIERE IN SEATTLE
July 31, 2021 – Da Vinci Inventions made its West Coast debut at the Museum of History of and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle. Visitors will be able to do something Leonardo da Vinci never could — test some of his own inventions. Very few of Leonardo’s designs were ever built in his lifetime. But now, Italian craftsmen have scoured his notes to build models that museum visitors can try out.
The exhibition is created by Grande Experiences — the Australian company behind “Van Gogh Alive” — with the assistance of the Museo de Leonardo da Vinci in Rome. Perhaps most famous as an artist, Leonardo also excelled as an inventor, anatomist, engineer and architect. In 16 themed sections, this exhibition explores the breadth of Leonardo’s genius, with a special focus on his inventions — from musical instruments to weapons and, of course, flying machines.
“There was much less of a division between art and science in the Renaissance,” said Amanda Thomas, the Grande Experiences representative who helped MOHAI set up the exhibition. “In those times you were just a learned person and you would learn about all sorts of things.” However, that learning was mostly hypothetical, and often rooted in theology. Leonardo was ahead of his time in grounding his knowledge on close observation of the natural world.
“He was such a keen observer and that’s not only reflected in his art. His observation of nature led him to create these imaginative devices to improve the quality of everyday life,” said Leonard Garfield, executive director of MOHAI.