Explore the Mind of Leonardo da Vinci | New Exhibit Opens at the Reagan Library

By Debra Tash

“The World of da Vinci” officially opened at the Ronald Reagan Library on May 24th.  The traveling exhibit was constructed in Milan Italy using the Codex Atlanticus which Leonardo had penned over 500 years ago. 

Da Vinci was the quintessential Renaissance man. Leonardo, has he is known in Italy, was born out of wedlock.  His father was a Florentine notary and landlord, Ser Piero, is mother, Catherine, a peasant woman. He grew up on his father’s estate and was afforded a basic education in reading, writing and arithmetic.  He wrote backwards and used his left hand.  His creative talents were evident early on and he was apprenticed at the age of fifteen to a local artist, Antonio Pollaiuolo.  Not just a painter and artist, he was also a draftsman and dreamer, and most of all an engineer whose ideas were preserved in the manuscripts he left behind.  Outlined in those manuscripts were ideas for flying machines, mechanisms of war, fantastic musical instruments and even a perpetual motion device, something that so many others have pursued down the centuries.   A fine sampling of working models of those inventions is on display at the Reagan in this traveling exhibit.  

Machines of War

Triple Machine Gun

Multiple Slingshot

Take Flight!

Perpetual Motion Device

A more permanent exhibit of his inventions has been on display at the Leonardo3 Museum in Milan since 2013.  New to this traveling version is the Harpsichord-Viola.  At the preview Fred Mandel, a Canadian session musician who toured with Queen, played the complex instrument for the donors in attendance.  


Fred Mandel















Also on display is a digitized version of da Vinci’s painting of “The Last Supper” which is in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The original has been restored countless times over the centurioes.  And, of course, there is a representation of the Mona Lisa included along with “The Vitruvian Man”.

The Last Supper

The exhibition is well worth a visit and will be at the Reagan Library until September 8th. You can purchase tickets HERE.  


Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of Citizensjournal.us, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, residing in Somis.

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