Go back to article: The Science Museum and the Leonardo da Vinci Quincentenary Exhibition of 1952


A large and successful exhibition to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of Leonardo da Vinci was held at the Royal Academy, Burlington House, London, in 1952. It was an important event for the public appreciation of Leonardo’s genius. The proposal for the exhibition had come from the Science Museum, whose staff arranged a ‘scientific section’ of the exhibition, providing and displaying photographs and models. The story of these early models is particularly interesting in the light of the subsequent expansion in the use of mechanical models and animations to interpret and present Leonardo’s work. Questions that surrounded their introduction are accentuated by the ubiquity of models today. Some of the 1952 models will be displayed at the Science Museum in 2016, alongside an exhibition of a large group of ‘historical models’ first displayed in Milan in 1953. The occasion should provoke some thoughtful consideration of the current influence of this tool for research and display.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/150403/001