Early Monday morning, a worker at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art was taking down the banners welcoming visitors to the DaVinci Machines exhibit. The removal was a sad end for one of the most popular exhibitions ever to come to the museum at 5th Avenue and 7th Street.
The sadness comes from its departure, for if the museum could have kept it forever, who knows the numbers of people who would have flocked to the jewel of The City Beautiful. More than 12,000 people visited the museum and the exhibition, by far the most to view an exhibit, museum Executive Director George Bassi said.
For those who didn’t visit ... wow, did you miss out. While most lay people look upon Leonardo Da Vinci as the artist responsible for painting the Mona Lisa, his brilliance and vision extended far, far beyond the canvas. The machines he envisioned have become commonplace in our modern society. When he had those visions centuries ago, he was portrayed as being a madman.
But to see his “flying machine” — the precursor to airplanes — and war machines — many of those so common today — he was not mad at all. He was simply a genius.
The financial backer responsible for bringing that exhibition here has remained anonymous. To whomever was responsible, we thank you. We thank Bassi and his staff and volunteers at the museum for bringing in such a wonderful exhibit. Museums much larger than ours in cities much, much larger than ours would love to attract what we were able to, and that is a testament to all those whose hard work got it here.
The only question now that the banners have been removed and the exhibition loaded for its next destination, is, “What’s next?”
The LRMA raised the bar with the Da Vinci Machines exhibit. We cannot wait to see what the future will bring — much like Leonardo himself would have.