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The Inventions and Art of Leonardo da Vinci are at the Carnegie Science Center

by Janet Jonus

daVinci – The Exhibition is the second major exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center’s PPG Science Pavilion. DaVinci – the exhibition is rich with hands-on experiences, history, art, and science.

“da Vinci was disregarded in his lifetime,” according to Andrea Maxwell, PhD candidate from the University of Pittsburgh but 500 years after his death on May2, 1519, “he still touches our daily lives.”

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci is widely known for his two most famous works of art – The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa but da Vinci was much more. He was a scientist, an anatomist, a musician, a physicist, and an inventor. da Vinci invented early versions of many modern items. He invented a tank, a submarine, diving equipment, a glider, a parachute, and a horseless carriage but few of his inventions were ever produced. While it is possible some of his smaller, more practical inventions were put into use during his life time, it would have taken a literal fortune to build any one of his larger inventions. Without a wealthy sponsor, many of da Vinci’s inventions were doomed to well-drawn designs on paper.

da Vinci is the epitome of the “Renaissance Man”. He was a universal genius who pursued interests in diverse fields. He explored the world in an empirical way. He made observations and kept copious notes, called codices. The codices contained da Vinci’s observations, ideas, inventions, and even daily lists and details. da Vinci’s notes were spread over an estimated 13,000 pages. At his death, his codices were distributed among his apprentices and friends and many were lost. Today, there are 7000 pages surviving in various locations including some in the possession of the Royal Collection at Windsor and one codice that is owned by Bill Gates.

For the first time ever, many of DaVinci’s inventions have been created using techniques available in DaVinci’s times. Da Vinci – The Exhibition presents examples of da Vinci’s inventions in flight, physics, hydrodynamics, musical instruments, military and war (the one place da Vinci’s inventions were actually attempted in his lifetime), optics, and civil engineering. Many of the inventions are hands-on. Guests can move pulleys, experiment with a flying wing, use spring tension to move a machine, and so much more. In addition da Vinci’s own inventions the Carnegie Science Center’s staff has created Activity Centers where families can explore the concepts of da Vinci’s inventions.

Jason Brown, the Interim Director of the Carnegie Science Center says, “The (da Vinci) exhibit aligns with our mission to delight, educate, and inspire” – just like da Vinci himself.

Look for the FamilyFunPittsburgh Know Before You Go Guide soon!

The Basics

da Vinci – The Exhibition is in the PPG Science Pavilion at the Carnegie Science Center. da Vinci – The Exhibtion requires a separate ticket from the General Admission to the Science Center. Tickets are sold for specific entry times to allow everyone the chance to see the exhibition at a leisurely pace. Tickets for da Vinci are $19.95 for adults 13+, $17.95 for seniors 65+, $15.95 for children 3-12, children 2 and under are free. If you want to enjoy the Carnegie Science Center, the Buhl Planetarium, the USS Requin (in season), and the Highmark Sports Works before or after your da Vinci visit, Combo Tickets are available.  Combo Tickets for adults 13+ are $29.90, for seniors 65+ -$24.90, for children 3-12 – $21.90. Children 2 and under are free. Da Vinci tickets for Members are $8.95. da Vinci – The Exhibition will be at the PPG Pavilion from February 16th 2019 through September 2nd 2019.

Looking for more information about the Carnegie Science Center? Check out FamilyFunPittsburgh’s Know Before You Go Guide here: http://familyfunpittsburgh.com/carnegie-science-center-familyfunpittsburgh-ultimate-guide/

The Science Center is open daily from 1000AM – 500PM with some special summer hours. The Science Center is usually closed during Steelers home games and at some special events at Heinz Field. (The Science Center is across the street from Heinz Field.)


Admission to the Rangos Giant Cinema for any one educational movie (Hollywood movies are priced separately) is $9.95 for guests 3 and up. These tickets are available for sale online and at the Science Center.


The Science Center offers combination discounts at the ticket counter (not available online). General admission to the Science Center and a Rangos Educational Movie is $27.90 for adults 13+. $19.90 for children 3-12, and $22.90 for seniors 65+. Children two and under are free.


You can also buy tickets to Laser shows at the Science Center. The cost is $8.00 for guests 3 and up and $7.00 for admission to the USS Requin for all guests 3 and up.


Check out prices here: http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/visit/pricing/
There are several discounts to the Science Center. Discounts are available here: http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/visit/special-offers-and-discounts/

Parking is available in the Science Center lot for $5.00. Parking exit tickets can be purchased inside the Science Center at pay kiosks. They can be purchased at any time during your visit and used when you leave. The Allegheny Center T station is right next to the Science Center and the Port Authority 14 and 18 buses stop nearby.


The Science Center is wheelchair accessible (except for the USS Requin). Arrangements can be made in advance for those with special needs. A limited number of motorized wheelchairs are available. The Science Center also has sunglasses and noise cancelling headphones for those on the autism spectrum and those with sensory disorders. Check here for more information: http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/visit/accessibility/


The Carnegie Science Center is at One Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 / 412-237-3400 / http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/