Best Bet: The DaVinci Machines Exhibition

Denver gets a look at the handiwork of the ultimate Renaissance Man.
April 2012

Look around you. There is probably something nearby that Renaissance inventor Leonardo DaVinci helped create—or inspired. I knew that he was a pretty bright guy, but it wasn't until I visited The DaVinci Machines Exhibition at the Denver Pavilions (through September) that I fully understood what this one person had done for the betterment (and sometimes detriment) of humanity. The exhibit comes to Denver thanks to the Museum of Leonardo DaVinci in Florence, Italy, and all of the machines are built by Italian master woodworkers from sketches in DaVinci's notebooks. The exhibit features self-explantory objects (a paddle boat) and outright impractical ones (the batwing glider, also known as "the decapitator" due to the fate of several test pilots). My favorite part? You can dabble, just like DaVinci, with the exhibit's pieces by turning knobs and fiddling with gears.