Nelson Provincial Museum chief executive Lucinda Blackley-Jimson tries out one of the interactive displays at the Da Vinci 'Robots and Machines' exhibition last Thursday, ahead of its opening on Saturday. Photo: Kate Russell.

Da Vinci on show at Nelson Museum


The genius mind of Leonardo da Vinci has been brought to life in an interactive exhibition that has opened at the Nelson Provincial Museum.

Da Vinci ‘Robots and Machines’ opened on Saturday and showcases 80 machines, all handcrafted by Artisans of Florence International, who are the international tour operators for the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence, Italy.

They have used the same materials and techniques used in the 15th century, and many of the inventions have been built from concept designs that were never actually constructed in Da Vinci’s time.

Nelson Provincial Museum chief executive Lucinda Blackley-Jimson says although Da Vinci was most famous as a painter, he was also known for his technological ingenuity, with his areas of interest ranging from invention, architecture, engineering, mathematics, botany, astronomy, geology, anatomy, history, science, music and literature.

“We think of Da Vinci being primarily an artist, but he had such knowledge about so many different things, and he had such curiosity of things that flowed into the natural world,” she says.

“He had such an amazing fascination with things, from simple machines to how the body worked.”

Nelsonians will get to see the latest discoveries of lost Leonardo inventions, such as his mechanical drumming robot, with his most iconic inventions and artworks such as the helicopter, bicycle, military tank, scuba suit and the Mona Lisa.

Lucinda says there many things in the exhibition that both children and adults can interact with, and they will also be taking school groups through.

The exhibition will be on show in Nelson until August 13.