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I used to think that museums were buildings with dark rooms filled with boring stuff from people who died like 400 years ago. But the Leonardo da Vinci: Man - Inventor - Genius exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (also known as ‘the MAC') totally proved me wrong. I had heard so many awesome things about the exhibit, so I grabbed our intern (she totally rocks) and we set off to see it for ourselves!
T. Time: We started our museum experience doing what girls do best - shopping! The museum has a great shop and it was filled with lots of funky da Vinci t-shirts, tons of books, toys, cards and lots more. We got our green exhibit entry stickers, slapped them on our shirts and headed down the stairs to start our journey through the exhibit!
krazykels: And so it began! Off we went and with the help of the funky, Vitruvian Man direction signs (how clever!), we reached our first stop - the timeline room. A short and sweet introduction video was playing, so T. Time and I grabbed a seat and launched into the world of Leonardo. The room was filled with stunning art reproductions and you could've fooled me - they looked like the real deal! After learning about the life of Leonardo, we were ready for the first exhibit... military machines!
T. Time: Ah yes, this room was full of all kinds of crazy contraptions! Leonardo had a huge interest in anatomy and he even modeled some of his war machines after animals. He designed a tank that operated like a turtle shell! We saw this again after going into the next room full of da Vinci's flight inventions. He studied the way that birds flew and took their wing structure to develop lots of flying devices for humans. He sure was one smart cookie!
krazykels: That he was... and so are the teens that work inside the exhibit! Those kiddos knew lots of fun trivia about Leonardo. Did you know he wrote everything backwards? It's still a mystery why... but a handy dandy factoid, nonetheless! He also broke away from the standard egg tempura paint that everyone else used and tried basic oil paint instead. This let him blend colors together and create his magnificent masterpieces (even though he only actually finished 16 paintings!) We even received at-home recipes for the paints. T. Time, I hope you're feeling crafty!
T. Time: Craftiness is not my strong suit, but I'll give it a try! The last room of the exhibit held all the hands-on mechanical models which meant one thing - play time! I think we pushed, cranked, turned and pulled on just about everything in there! It was a great way to end the exhibit. I walked away from the museum thinking about how Leonardo da Vinci was way more than the guy who painted the Mona Lisa. He was a smarty pants who invented lots of things that we still use today. Who knew!?
krazykels: I agree! The Leonardo exhibit definitely impressed me and all that hands-on interaction made my experience tons of fun. I even learned a few things! Not only is the exhibit truly outstanding, but the MAC is an awesome venue in a great location (smack dab in the middle of Spokane's beautiful Browne's Addition.) I love that area! I can't wait to see what other exhibits the MAC will bring... I know I'll be there!
If you want to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit in Spokane, you'd better get a move on! The exhibit will wave goodbye to Spokane on Labor Day. You can get your tickets at the door and be sure to check their website for hours and more info!