Go back to article: The birth of a collection in Milan: from the Leonardo Exhibition of 1939 to the opening of the National Museum of Science and Technology in 1953


The collection of Leonardo da Vinci historical models at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan is one of the largest and most important in the world. Created in 1952–53 to celebrate the fifth centenary of the birth of Leonardo and the opening of the Museum, the collection is made up of more than 140 models, interpreting the studies of Leonardo da Vinci and helping Museum visitors to understand and visualise his ideas. Before 1952, Leonardo models were already created and displayed in Florence (1929), Chicago (1933) and above all in the great Leonardo Exhibition held in Milan in 1939, which made a very important contribution to the knowledge of Leonardo as engineer to the public.

It’s very important to clarify the role of these models, which are not original artefacts made by Leonardo himself nor replicas of no longer existing machines. They are really a very important interpretation device created by scientific museology between late 1920s and 1950s.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/150404/001