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Da Vinci's inventions at Cranbrook

Yet the items on display look like they came out of the workshop of the famous 15-16th century artist, architect, mathematician, and greatest example of what’s known as a Renaissance Man.

These artifacts were built by an Italian design company, the Artisans of Florence, and three different versions of the exhibit are currently touring the world.

For visitors to Cranbrook in Bloomfield, MI., most of the exhibition is hands-on, ideal for adults but especialy kids to discover Da Vinci’s creative output by physically sampling the objects.

The considerable display “runs the gamut” from a flying machine to “ferocious looking military things,” Wood says.

“But most of them in the exhibit focus on ones that utilize engineering principles like ball bearings, a lot of his flight mechanisms and including one that was actually essentially a universal weight machine,” the curator said.

Da Vinci might be better known for his art, and reproductions of some of his most famous paintings are also included.

So, you’ll see a couple of renditions of his Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and Lady with an Ermine.

There is also a reproduction one of his codices, a book which is a vast posthumous compilation of his engineering, architectural and human anatomy sketches.

“They’re very faithful reproductions,” said Wood.

And, yes, you’ll even be able to purchase miniature replicas, such as a wooden bridge based on one of Da Vinci’s designs.


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