Leonardo da Vinci: Models of Genius

6 April – 6 May 1995
This is an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions which have been constructed as models, in bronze and wood, from a selection of his numerous sketches. No single person in recorded history exemplifies the inventive capacity of humanity more fully than Leonardo, who investigated virtually every field of science and art.

Many of Leonardo’s inventions anticipated twentieth-century mechanical science and were derived from his observations of nature and natural forces. For example, he based designs of helicopters and other flying machines on observations of birds and their use of wings.

Leonardo was the quintessential renaissance man of 15th century Florence. He worked under the patronage of Cosimo de Medici and Lorenzo the Magnificent in a city that flowered commercially as well as culturally. It was a period in history where knowledge, culture and technology expanded as never before.

The exhibition presents twenty-three working models, drawn from the International Business Machines Corporation collection. They include devices for measurement and traffic control, to flying machines and weapons. Wherever possible the models are interactive, and are displayed so that even the smallest visitor can view each object.

A University of Technology Sydney in conjunction with IBM Australia travelling exhibition. Curated and catalogue essay by Susan Peacock.