02260-20240229 Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit & IMAX Cities of the Future 3D previews+more at California Science Center—Los Angeles+audio—24-105mm—R3

Da Vinci exhibit & “Cities of the Future” in IMAX at the California Science Center

Leonardo da Vinci: Inventor, Artist, Dreamer

Leonardo da Vinci had an incredible mind. This exhibition of his innovative machines and art features 30 stunning, large, wooden models of Da Vinci’s inventions, along with hands-on exhibits and graphic reproductions of da Vinci’s iconic artwork.

This traveling exhibition was developed by Leonardo3 Museum of Milan (Italy), in collaboration with Running Subway Productions. There is also a permanent da Vinci exhibition in Milan. The models were built by highly skilled “contemporary artisans according to da Vinci’s exacting specifications.”

You’ll see models of inventions as exquisitely simple as a folding ladder to several large flying machines that are suspended from the ceiling and fill a gallery.

Interactive video screen stations reveal digitally restored before-and-after versions of some of da Vinci’s artwork, along with explanations. One example of his art is a wall-sized reproduction of the Last Supper.

“Guests will have the opportunity to test their engineering and building skills, including recreating da Vinci’s famous self-supporting bridge,” and climb aboard and operate his paddle boat.

Leonardo’s incredible inventions were the result of his boundless curiosity and his never-ending efforts to understand how things work, as well as the techniques and skills of carpenters and artisans of his time. He drew thousands of drawings, applying what he learned towards making things better and inventing new things in areas of engineering, architecture, science, music, art and more.

Building these complex, incredibly detailed models was particularly challenging. Generally speaking, the models in the exhibition took anywhere from six months to one year to build. For example, the large, working model of a lion took a year to build, and is the second prototype. It is powered by two large springs, the specifications for which were engineered over the course of a month through a collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano’s mechanical engineering department.

Other models include da Vinci’s Flying Bicycle, Great Kite, 33-foot Flying Eagle and The Great Organ.

“Cities of the Future” in IMAX 3D

Produced in association with MacGillivray Freeman Films, in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), “Cities of the Future” in IMAX 3D makes its West Coast premiere at the California Science Center.

“‘As our climate changes and our population grows, our cities will need to adapt to meet new challenges, and human ingenuity will drive the solutions,’ says director Greg MacGillivray, two-time Academy Award nominee and chairman of MacGillivray Freeman Films.”

Narrated by award-winning actor John Krasinski and starring “Paul Lee, a lifelong Angeleno and a renewable energy engineer who worked with Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s office on climate policy and clean energy as an Energy Policy Analyst, seeking solutions for local water, energy, and transportation challenges,” “Cities of the Future” depicts a fascinating, plausible look 50 years into our future, a future where we could live and work in totally sustainable smart cities. In this future “renewable energy is our primary power source, space-based solar power provides solar energy 24 hours a day, everything is recycled, and you travel in individualized pods that run on little or no energy.”

In “Cities of the Future” we see cities around the world where some of this technology is already taking effect today. In Singapore, we see “where a million trees mixed with modern engineering marvels have turned a sweltering island into a sustainable oasis.” LA100 is “a plan launched under Mayor Garcetti to modernize Los Angeles electricity system infrastructure—aiming for a 100% renewable energy supply.”

To see the official trailer for “Cities of the Future,” visit: https://citiesofthefuturefilm.com.

The California Science Center is open daily from 10am to 5pm. General admission to the permanent galleries is free. For information about purchasing tickets for the special, limited time Leonardo da Vinci exhibit and “Cities of the Future” in IMAX 3D, visit the California Science Center at: https://californiasciencecenter.org/visit/get-reservations-tickets?date=2024-03-19. You can save when you purchase both and through membership.

Be sure to visit the rest of the California Science Center while you are there. For my recent coverage of it, including over 60 photos, go to https://automatters.net/welcome-to-the-california-science-center/.

To explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, with the most photos and the latest text, visit “AutoMatters & More” at https://automatters.net. Search by title or topic in the Search Bar in the middle of the Home Page, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes and browse.

Copyright © 2024 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #831

Jan Wagner


  1. David Sperry on April 5, 2024 at 10:28 pm

    Jan, this is another wonderful column in your unstoppable whirlwind life. For me, da Vinci has long been one of history’s most fascinating characters. If he were alive today, and if he stayed out of politics, he would probably head the largest and most innovative architectural/engineering/industrial design firm in the world.

    Cities of the future is another interest of mine. The IMAX movie of the same name would be right up my alley. I believe with current technology and determination, the city they describe 50 years out is partially feasible, but I like looking 100,000 or even a million years ahead. It’s beyond my imagination. I don’t know how futurists or sci-fi writers can even visualize our planet that far out. I can’t.

    You will become a well known guest at the California Science Center. It a work in progress.

    Great column. David.

    • Jan Wagner on April 6, 2024 at 12:50 am

      Thank you David,
      It is hard for me to understand how Da Vinci could have been so far ahead of his time. I wonder how easy it was for him to stay out of politics back then?
      This IMAX movie is making the rounds, playing at science centers around the country. I’ll bet you can find out if it will be playing near you.

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