The newest in a continuing string of successful exhibitions, Da Vinci: The Exhibition opens Oct. 23 to the public at Kansas City’s historic Union Station in the exhibition hall with many hands-on exhibits, replicas of paintings, and life size re-creations of some inventions.
Da Vinci, on the most heralded artists of the Renaissance defines Renaissance Man in that he possessed the left and right brain creativity that fostered his innovations and advancements in art, poetry, physics, military strategy, inventions, aviation, and more. His ideas from 500 years ago detailed parachutes, rudimentary machinery, war machines, SCUBA, submarines, helicopters, bicycles, and more. Those are just a few of the innovations that sprung from his intellect.
Da Vinci: The Exhibition opens Oct.23 and continues through May 1, where the genius, ideas, paintings, inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci come to full focus. The exhibit follows the successful Gridiron Glory that focused on the National Football League and features many Kansas City Chiefs memorabilia. Da Vinci: The Exhibition opens with fanfare and appeals to an even wider audience than the NFL exhibit, Michael Tritt, chief marketing officer of Union Station, said.
Tritt said that Union Station is the third location for the exhibition and that Union Station had worked for over 10 months to secure and prepare for the unveiling of Da Vinci: The Exhibition. He said that Union Station wants to continue to attract audiences from a 250 mile radius of Kansas City and the each new exhibit offers something vastly different from the previous exhibit to keep the audiences vast and growing. The mass appeal of attractions like Da Vinci: The Exhibition keeps new faces coming to the Station and maintains established friends to the exhibits.
“There’s no better place than Union Station to unlock the mind of this master,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station Kansas City, said. “Da Vinci was truly a complex and fascinating person for the ages. While we most often think of him as an artist, he was also a visionary, inventor, and engineering master – exactly the type of person who would have been drawn to our historic site where our programs and organizations epitomize STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education.”
The new exhibit examines Da Vinci’s creativity, art, and inventions that demonstrate the genius he possessed. According to developers, Aurea Exhibitions and producers, Imagine Exhibitions, Inc, the Union Station exhibit facilitates a hands-on approach to Da Vinci’s life, inventions, and art. The exhibit features “more than 65 fully built, life-size inventions, more than 20 fine art studies and dozens of stunning displays,” Union Station information said. Attendees see and understand “the complex beginnings and lifetime achievements of Da Vinci through his discoveries in art, engineering, flight, hydraulics, music, light and more,” a spokesman said.
“Da Vinci was a poet, he was a scientist, he was a philosopher, he was an engineer, he was an anatomist,” said Tom Zaller, president of Imagine Exhibitions Inc., which produced the exhibit. “He was an organizer of thoughts. The inventions he drew on the page we bring to life in wood. You can interact with some of these elements. The tank, you can get inside. You can spin the flywheel. The camshaft, you can turn the crank.”
The exhibition features several galleries of Da Vinci’s works, mostly his inventions that demonstrate his true genius in devising and exploring centuries ahead of the Renaissance. Imagine, if you will, his concept of a helicopter and a parachute well before manned flight was invented. His study of birds, bats and aviation led the way to manned flight. His SCUBA is shown in another gallery. A ratchet device, that resembles car jacks that most remember to change tires was envisioned by him centuries ahead of the automobile industry. Union Stations exhibit features so many exhibits of Da Vinci’s creations that they cannot be explained in detail. Da Vinci: The Exhibition includes over 60 of his many creations. Even though very rudimentary in the 1500s they paved the way for the 21 Century everyday uses of modernized versions. Still, the genius of Da Vinci conceived them and laid out the physics and mathematics behind them.
Patrons can easily spend hours working their way though the exhibit and reading all the explanations that introduce each piece. Many of the pieces encourage hand-on trials to see what each piece accomplishes. Visitors find talking points throughout the exhibit as they can see the earliest version of a piece and then reflect how that initial invention continued to evolve into current trends and technology.
While many recognize Da Vinci as an artist, it’s his body of work that illustrates his true genius. His contributions to war, science, art, physics, aviation all point to his creativity. He was a man of science and art. As a man of science, the new exhibition plays well with Union Station’s Science City. Both attractions stimulate the minds of youth. Da Vinci: The Exhibition appeals to the widest of audiences from children to adult.
According to information provided by Union Station, Da Vinci: The Exhibition opens to the public on Friday, Oct. 23 (Regular Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.) for a limited engagement through May 1, 2016. Tickets are available for purchase at the Union Station Box Office and online at the Union Station website. Other information can be found here.
“Union Station is fortunate to host this unique exhibition,” Bob Regnier, Chairman of the Board, Union Station Kansas City, said. “We’re honored to welcome the mystery and mastery of one of the greatest thinkers of all time. When Da Vinci opens in October, we are confident the exhibition will attract both children and adults alike. There will literally be something for everyone.”