An artist, scientist, engineer, poet, inventor, and visionary, the genius of Leonardo da Vinci has captivated audiences for centuries. Da Vinci The Exhibition takes guests on a journey of innovation, creativity and wonder at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.
Developed by Aurea Exhibitions and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc., Da Vinci The Exhibition is a hands-on examination of da Vinci’s life, research and art. Featuring fully built, life-size inventions, fine art studies, and dozens of stunning displays, guests will learn the complex beginnings and lifetime achievements of da Vinci through his discoveries in art, engineering, flight, hydraulics, music, light and more.
Throughout the exhibition’s themed galleries, visitors will discover the breadth and scope of da Vinci’s incredibly advanced understanding of science, mathematics, nature, and the relationship between the three. The artist’s intricate designs and extraordinary early concepts are spotlighted, including his design for the helicopter, tank, SCUBA, crane, clock, submarine and his plan for a modern city. Additionally, various multimedia experiences and documentary presentations throughout the space will provide a multitude of supplementary information on da Vinci’s discoveries and creative process. To highlight some of the areas of study represented, the Museum & Aquarium will feature themed Da Vinci Days on the second and fifth Saturdays of the month throughout the exhibit’s run. On these select days, visitors can expect additional presentations or activities within the exhibit presented by the Museum & Aquarium and local partners.
Each invention featured within Da Vinci The Exhibition was handcrafted utilizing a modern translation of da Vinci’s unique mirrored writing style in an ancient Florentine dialect. Trained artisans used these translations to construct full-scale models and bring the master’s two-dimensional plans to life.
In addition to da Vinci’s role as an inventor, the exhibition investigates a collection of da Vinci’s most renowned paintings, including some controversial works traditionally attributed to him, but not yet authenticated. Guests will have the opportunity to thoroughly study the artistic mastery behind such works as “Mona Lisa,” “The Last Supper,” “Portrait of a Young Man,” “Virgin of the Rocks,” “St. John the Baptist” and more.
Throughout his lifelong devotion to the sciences and fascination with nature, da Vinci also extensively explored the world of anatomy. Da Vinci The Exhibition’s in-depth and enlightening explanations of his famous studies on subjects such as the golden ratio and “Vitruvian Man” are complemented by enlarged examples of the artist’s sketches and notes made during his controversial research on the human body.
Da Vinci: The Exhibition runs May 12 to October 8. American Trust & Savings Bank is the premier exhibit sponsor. Lead exhibit sponsors include KWWL, Radio Dubuque, and Diamond Jo Casino. TH Media is a partner exhibit sponsor, and Prudential is an associate exhibit sponsor.