An exhibit of 12 original drawings by the Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci will make its American debut in the District of Columbia this week.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will present “Imagining the Future — Leonardo da Vinci: In the Mind of an Italian Genius” starting Wednesday. It is open to the public during regular library hours through Aug. 20.
Permanently housed at Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, Italy, the drawings come from the Codex Atlanticus. Da Vinci recorded this 1,119-page collection of notes, sketches and diagrams between 1478 and his death in 1519.
The 12 drawings feature black chalk, pencil, watercolor and pen and ink. They illustrate da Vinci’s research in mathematics, astronomy, optics, hydraulic pumps, philosophy, mythology, flying machines and gliders.
Next to the exhibit, the Carnegie Science Center will present Leonardo’s Lab, an interactive activity. It allows children aged 6-14 to assemble structures with wooden slats, explore homemade “ornithopters” and try writing in reverse on mounted chalkboards.
Mariangela Zappi, Italy’s ambassador to the U.S., is scheduled to speak at an opening reception Tuesday night alongside art experts and business leaders from his country. Confindustria, an Italian trade association opening an office in Washington, arranged the partnership between Ambrosiana Biblioteca and the D.C. Public Library.