Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion2019-01-22T16:35:50+00:00

    Project Description

    Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion

    On view February 9, 2019

    Exhibition Preview Party
    Friday, February 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

    The arrival date of Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion has changed due to the federal government shutdown. Click here to learn more.

    Experience the genius of artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci at Berkshire Museum! Visitors of all ages are invited to test Leonardo’s inventions, step inside a wooden battle tank, discover his flying machines including the ornithopter and flying bicycle, and more.


    Inventions by Leonardo da Vinci featured in the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion include, top left, the bicycle-ornithopter; center, armored car; and top right, ornithopter with semi-fixed wing.


    See the innovations of Leonardo da Vinci first-hand, exploring 40 full-size, true-to-design working models of his Renaissance inventions, and the 500-year-old drawings used to construct them. Each mechanism was meticulously built by a group of scientists and skilled artisans in collaboration with the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Florence, Italy, and the artist’s instructions were carried out using the tools, techniques, and materials that were available during his era.

    The 40 extraordinary machines in the exhibition are grouped into four sections, based upon their relevance to the four elements – fire, water, earth, and air – which held a strong fascination for Leonardo da Vinci.

    Under “Fire,” we find machines for military use, such as the cannon and machine gun. Highlights include an armored vehicle, a moving wooden battle tank large enough for visitors to step inside. The “Water” section features machines that use water pressure to relay energy as well as equipment intended to enable a man to walk on water and a large webbed glove, similar to a flipper, meant to accelerate swimming. Under “Earth,” we find inventions like the crane, the printing press, the oil press, theatrical machines, and even a robot. Leonardo was famously fascinated by flight, and in the “Air” category visitors will discover several models of flying machines, from the ornithopter (a device with mechanical wings), to an early type of hang glider, a parachute, and a flying bicycle.



    Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion is a Feigenbaum Innovative Experience, generously sponsored by the Feigenbaum Foundation.




    Sign up today for our newest educator-led gallery program: da Vinci Machines, featuring hands-on experimentation and guided exploration designed to introduce and reinforce basic principles of physics and engineering. Your students will have an opportunity to design and build their own simple machines during this exciting new program available January 28 through May 3, 2019.

    Hours & Admission

    Monday - Saturday, 10 - 5pm
    Sunday, noon to 5pm

    Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day

    $13 adult; $6 child (under 18)
    Museum members & children 3 and under get in for free

    Little Cinema
    $7.50, $5 members



    39 South Street (Route 7)
    Pittsfield, MA 01201
    Map and Directions

    Berkshire Museum is Handicap Accessible