Thursday, February 4, 2010

Inventions of Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit in Tuckahoe NY

The Westchester Italian Cultural Center in Tuckahoe NY presents the Inventions of Leonardo da Vinci from January 20 – April 16, 2010. This extraordinary exhibit features 16 conceptual models of mechanical devices created and designed by the Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci.

The models were built in the 1950’s by technicians from the IBM corporation using da Vinci's instructions contained in thousands of pages of his notebooks. By blending art and science, da Vinci drew incredibly precise diagrams of his inventions in addition to writing keen observations of the subject matter. Because of this, his inventions could be reconstructed almost 500 years later.

In addition to the models, laptops are available in the exhibit rooms from which you can virtually leaf through 3-D versions of da Vinci’s notebooks. The software allows you to enlarge and examine any of his illustrations and cross-reference them to his various inventions. Believe me, the software is so engaging I would have monopolized a laptop for hours if I could have.

The exhibit includes flying machines, parachutes, helicopters, a printing press, odometer, paddle wheel ship, spring driven car, military tank and a double hull ship. Walking among the models, I had to remind myself that they were invented centuries ago.

Leonardo da Vinci reminds us all that unlimited imagining is possible. He shows us that, as human beings, we are more than we realize. In a time when things seem to be contracting around us, this is the right time to remember how expansive we can be.

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