Leonardo da Vinci: Inventor. Artist. Dreamer.

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Leonardo Da Vinci: Inventor. Artist. Dreamer. logo
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Flight machines are displayed based on Leonardo Da Vinci's drawings.
Image attribution
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Now Open

The California Science Center proudly presents the special exhibition LEONARDO DA VINCI: Inventor. Artist. Dreamer. Step into a world of wonder and innovation as you explore 30 ingenious inventions—including the Flying Bicycle, Great Organ, Mechanical Bat, and Great Kite—each built by contemporary Italian artisans according to da Vinci’s drawings. Mechanical wonders that were once only sketches on paper now stand before you, including over a dozen full-scale models. Marvel at the extraordinary detail of da Vinci’s designs, from the Flying Eagle suspended above with its 33 ft. majestic wingspan to the whimsical Helical Air Screw, each a testament to his visionary spirit and endless curiosity. Test your engineering skills by building da Vinci’s famous self-supporting bridge, climb aboard and operate his paddle boat, and engage in other hands-on science learning activities inside the exhibition.   

See digitally restored reproductions of his iconic artwork including the Last Supper and Lady with an Ermine. Discover details lost forever in the masterpiece as the displays reveal how each painting would have appeared when da Vinci created them. Each work is shown alongside interactive exhibits where you can learn more about the artwork and its restoration. 

Seen by over 5 million people worldwide, LEONARDO DA VINCI: Inventor. Artist. Dreamer. is a journey into one of history’s greatest minds to discover his mastery of science and art.

Enhance your experience by seeing the IMAX movie Cities of the Future 3D and, much like da Vinci, discover the exciting innovations engineers are working on today—from electric flying cars to solar power beamed from space.  

Buy Tickets

General admission to the Science center is included with your DA VINCI exhibition ticket. 

Leonardo3 Museum logo
Running Subway logo

An exhibition by Leonardo3 Museum in collaboration with Running Subway Productions. 

Exhibition Admission

Member View Details
Exhibition and IMAX Movie Combo - Add Both and Save!
  • Adult (age 18-64) - $25.95
  • Child (age 3-12) - $18.95
  • Student (age 13-17) - $23.95
  • Senior (age 65+) - $23.95
Exhibition Only
  • Adult (age 18-64) - $18.95
  • Child (age 3-12) - $13.95
  • Student (age 13-17) - $17.95
  • Senior (age 65+) - $17.95

Not a Member? Sign up online!

Non-Member View Details
Exhibition and IMAX Movie Combo - Add Both and Save!
  • Adult (age 18-64) - $28.95
  • Child (age 3-12) - $20.95
  • Student (age 13-17) - $25.95
  • Senior (age 65+) - $25.95
Exhibition Only
  • Adult (age 18-64) - $22.95
  • Child (age 3-12) - $15.95
  • Student (age 13-17) - $20.95
  • Senior (age 65+) - $20.95
Group (15 or More People) View Details
Exhibition and IMAX Movie Combo -  Add Both and Save!
  • School Groups (K-12) and chaperones - $15.00
  • Adults (age 18-64) including adult chaperones of youth groups - $25.00
  • Child (age 3-12) non-school groups - $19.00
  • Youth (age 13-17) non-school groups - $22.00
  • College students with ID - $23.00
  • Seniors (age 65+) - $23.00

Exhibition Only
  • School Groups (K-12) and chaperones - $11.25 
  • Adults (age 18-64) including adult chaperones of youth groups - $18.95 
  • Child (age 3-12) non-school groups - $13.95 
  • Youth (age 13-17) non-school groups - $15.95 
  • College students with ID - $17.95 
  • Seniors (age 65+) - $17.95 

Special Sneak Peek

See It In IMAX

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Cities of the Future horizontal key art
Image attribution
MacGillivray Freeman Films
Enhance your exhibition experience by seeing Cities of the Future 3D in our state-of-the-art IMAX Theater!

Leonardo da Vinci designed for the future—now they are, too! Discover the exciting innovations engineers are working on right now—from electric flying cars to smart buildings—that will help create a more sustainable future for us all. Add tickets for the DA VINCI exhibition and IMAX movie Cities of the Future 3D to your shopping cart to activate special savings!

Photos

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Robot Solider

Folio 579r of the Codex Atlanticus contains many confusing subjects: pulleys, a drum, a clock-work system, some gears, various mechanisms, a helmet, and a coupling for battle armor. By analyzing the details and crossing them with the information and notes in other Leonardo codices, scientists arrived at the hypothesis of the torso of an artificial soldier that can beat its hands against its chest when the central wheel is set in motion.

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Great Continuous Organ

The drawing of the Great Continuous Organ is very small, but the design is extremely clear. Da Vinci places two of his double bellows on either side of the organ. The musician could, without help from others, pump air with his legs and play with both hands free, while the system provided a continuous air flow.

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Flying Bike designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Image attribution
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Flying Bike

A machine governed by just one pilot, the pose of the pilot recalls that of the modern cyclist—though we must bear in mind that bicycles did not yet exist in da Vinci's time.

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Paddle Boat

On the simplest designs of rotating paddle boats designed by da Vinci, the movement of the paddles is entrusted to the arms of the sailors driving the boat, while in this one the rotation arises from the alternating movement of the legs of a single sailor. The operator, leaning on the central mechanism, placed his feet on two boards that acted as pedals and moved his feet up and down. The alternating motion was converted into rotary motion of the wheel axle, which, moving in one direction, would give the boat a rectilinear motion.

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Multiple Sling

Da Vinci was inspired by the sling, an ancient weapon that allowed stone projectiles to be hurled forcefully. This machine was equipped with eight slings positioned at the end of each arm, which could hurl stones in any direction. The idea was to build an economical defensive weapon with easily available materials and without the complications of firearms.

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Aerial Screw

This is not a helicopter, but an experiment with an aerial "screw." Da Vinci wanted to prove that air acts like a fluid and can be compressed. As the screw rotates, it should then twist into the air, lifting the machine.

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Da Vinci had a dream to fly.
Image attribution
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Dream of Flight

Da Vinci was fascinated with the idea of being able to translate the forms of nature into a machine that would allow a man to fly.

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The multi-canon gunship designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Image attribution
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Multi Canon Gunship

The Multi Cannon Gunship is an armored war machine with sixteen cannons. By examining the mechanisms drawn in the central part, it is evident that this is a huge warship and not a land defense system, as used to be thought in the past. On the ground, in fact, a machine of this size would not have been able to move, even if pulled or moved by animals.

Image

Robot Solider

Folio 579r of the Codex Atlanticus contains many confusing subjects: pulleys, a drum, a clock-work system, some gears, various mechanisms, a helmet, and a coupling for battle armor. By analyzing the details and crossing them with the information and notes in other Leonardo codices, scientists arrived at the hypothesis of the torso of an artificial soldier that can beat its hands against its chest when the central wheel is set in motion.

Image

Great Continuous Organ

The drawing of the Great Continuous Organ is very small, but the design is extremely clear. Da Vinci places two of his double bellows on either side of the organ. The musician could, without help from others, pump air with his legs and play with both hands free, while the system provided a continuous air flow.

Image
Flying Bike designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Image attribution
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Flying Bike

A machine governed by just one pilot, the pose of the pilot recalls that of the modern cyclist—though we must bear in mind that bicycles did not yet exist in da Vinci's time.

Image

Paddle Boat

On the simplest designs of rotating paddle boats designed by da Vinci, the movement of the paddles is entrusted to the arms of the sailors driving the boat, while in this one the rotation arises from the alternating movement of the legs of a single sailor. The operator, leaning on the central mechanism, placed his feet on two boards that acted as pedals and moved his feet up and down. The alternating motion was converted into rotary motion of the wheel axle, which, moving in one direction, would give the boat a rectilinear motion.

Image

Multiple Sling

Da Vinci was inspired by the sling, an ancient weapon that allowed stone projectiles to be hurled forcefully. This machine was equipped with eight slings positioned at the end of each arm, which could hurl stones in any direction. The idea was to build an economical defensive weapon with easily available materials and without the complications of firearms.

Image

Aerial Screw

This is not a helicopter, but an experiment with an aerial "screw." Da Vinci wanted to prove that air acts like a fluid and can be compressed. As the screw rotates, it should then twist into the air, lifting the machine.

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Da Vinci had a dream to fly.
Image attribution
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Dream of Flight

Da Vinci was fascinated with the idea of being able to translate the forms of nature into a machine that would allow a man to fly.

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The multi-canon gunship designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Image attribution
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Multi Canon Gunship

The Multi Cannon Gunship is an armored war machine with sixteen cannons. By examining the mechanisms drawn in the central part, it is evident that this is a huge warship and not a land defense system, as used to be thought in the past. On the ground, in fact, a machine of this size would not have been able to move, even if pulled or moved by animals.

Slider info
Seesaw invention by Leonard Da Vinci
Image attribution
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute
Group Discount

Book your group visit! Groups of 15 or more people enjoy special savings by receiving one free ticket for every 15 tickets purchased. Advance reservations are required for groups. To reserve your group, please call (213) 744-2019.

Visitor Information

PLEASE NOTE: The time on your DA VINCI exhibition ticket reflects the time you can enter the exhibition queue. Wait times may vary.

DA VINCI Quick Tips View Details

Purchase your tickets online.

Same-day ticket sales online and at the Box Office are limited and subject to availability. Advance purchase online is strongly recommended. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your exhibition time to allow plenty of time for parking. Visit our website for Directions, Parking, Transportation, and up to date traffic alerts.

Please pick up your tickets at the Box Office if you reserved your tickets over the phone and selected the Will Call delivery method. ID required for pickup. 

General admission to the Science Center is included with your DA VINCI exhibition ticket.

Expected dwelling time: 60 minutes.

Target Audience: Families with children 7-14, and adults interested in art/science connection and da Vinci.

Location: 3rd floor, Weingart Gallery

      General Admission Information View Details

      We ask that all guests adhere to the following visitor policies.

      Belongings
      • The California Science Center does not provide storage or lockers. Bags and carry-on items larger than 11" x 14" are not permitted inside the exhibit. This includes but is not limited to coolers, luggage, backpacks, or other types of personal property. We strongly encourage leaving large bags and other personal property at home or in your car. The California Science Center is not responsible for any personal items left unattended.
      • Food or drink is not permitted inside the exhibit.
      Cameras
      • Please ensure that your camera activities respect the privacy of other visitors and do not distract our staff and volunteers.
      • Selfie sticks, tripods, stabilizers, gimbals, and monopods are not permitted inside the California Science Center.
      Accessibility View Details

      The exhibition is wheelchair accessible. Learn more about our accessibility and amenities.

      Shop the ExploraStore Collection View Details

      Find an incredible collection of DA VINCI inspired gifts at the ExploraStore.

      Aerial screw designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
      Special Offers for Members

      Support a dynamic educational resource and enjoy a year of special experiences, including exhibition and IMAX movie previews and ticket discounts. Join today to launch your science adventure!

      Join or renew as a Member for an opportunity to attend a special Members-only preview of LEONARDO DA VINCI: Inventor. Artist. Dreamer. from 4:30 – 8:15 p.m. (last exhibit entry 7:00) on Friday evening, March 1, along with a screening of the new IMAX movie, Cities of the Future 3D.

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      Panorama of the Da Vinci exhibition.
      Image attribution
      Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute