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Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion

​Opens Saturday, May 28

Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion is a unique interactive experience with full-size machines, constructed after an in-depth study of da Vinci’s designs by a group of scientists and skilled craftsmen. The materials used to create these machine replicas are the same items available during the Renaissance and the ones proposed by da Vinci himself.

Leonardo da Vinci, the celebrated thinker of the Renaissance, is widely considered to be a leading figure of invention and creativity. His ideas have informed and inspired generations of engineers, architects, and artists, and his designs are the precursors of many modern machines and devices, including the glider, parachute, bicycle, and helicopter.

Today, da Vinci’s legacy of innovation is studied in the machines, drawings, and designs he left for us to construct and decode. Now, through Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion, Montshire visitors will have the chance to see the early forms of da Vinci’s machines up close, touch them, and set them in motion during this renowned international exhibition’s first visit to Northern New England.


This exhibition is organized into four parts, based on da Vinci’s study of the elements of nature: earth, water, air and fire.

Earth Includes da Vinci’s early renditions of a printing press, a gear wheel, and even a working robot, invented centuries before the technological revolution.
Water Includes the hydraulic water saw and the webbed glove, intended to accelerate swimming and resembling today’s flipper.
Air Includes models of flying machines designed centuries before people soared through the skies, such as an ornithopter — a device with mechanical wings that enabled a person to fly and also served as the precursor of today’s hang glider.
Fire Includes machines powered by fire or motion, such as the mortar gun and the flywheel.
Opens Saturday, May 28 through Monday, September 5

Thank you to our sponsors Bio X Cell, Chroma Technology, Concept2 Inc., Geokon, Mascoma Bank, and Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College for helping make this exhibition possible.

Chroma Technology logo

GEOKON logo

Mascoma Bank logo