The Saskatchewan Science Center in Regina is currently hosting an exhibition titled Da Vinci Inventions. I first learned about this in February, and ever since I was trying to find an opportunity to visit. Finally, this past Tuesday it was time to reconnect with the most inspiring artist, inventor and scientist of the Renaissance.
The busy Science Center’s parking lot and the well populated outdoor playground were keen reminders that Easter break is in full swing. We threw caution to the wind and entered the historical building. Soon we crossed the main foyer, provided proof of admission to the friendly hostess at the entrance to the exhibition hall and entered the dimly lit space.
Colin and I had visited the Da Vinci Exhibition at the Royal B. C. Museum in 1997. The experience is still vivid in our minds. At first impression we felt a little let down on Tuesday – however, once we realized that this exhibition is primarily focused on Leonardo’s sketches of anatomy and machines we quickly adjusted.
The traveling exhibition was created by Grande Exhibitions and the Anthropos Foundation of Italy. Anthropos Foundation is comprised of a group of scientists who continually study Leonardo Da Vinci‘s writings and create models of the mechanical sketches.
At the entrance to the exhibition we were welcomed by large posters providing us with a detailed biography of Da Vinci. Plinths showcased reproductions of several Codices. This space opened up to numerous large scale models, including his “flying machine.” Photography was not permitted, however I found this website with images of the models and artifacts on display.
The largest display space was most interesting, featuring several reproductions of his best know pieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Madonna of the Rocks, musical instruments and even a forerunner to the scuba diving suit with air reservoir.
My attention was quickly drawn to a large TV screen. A video dissecting the Vitruvian Man as well as the theory of how the Golden Mean relates to the human body was fascinating and made the relatively high price of admission worthwhile. Our visit was rounded off with a 45 minute documentary of Da Vinci’s life, his personal conflict of designing war machines while leaning toward pacifism and his art.
I couldn’t resist visiting the small gift shop and was very excited to find a copy of the video that had captured my attention among the artifacts. I plan to share the Vitruvian Man clip with the design students when they return for the wrap up on June 1st.
If you live within driving distance of Regina, Saskatchewan or travel through the city before April 28th don’t miss the chance to stop at the Science Center. Leonardo Da Vinci continues to inspire even 494 years after his death.