Sunday, August 2, 2015

Traveling Exhibit: Da Vinci and Michelangelo, Side by Side

By Jeff Burns

Do you dream of going to Italy and seeing works by Renaissance masters?  Or maybe you want to renew memories of a past visit?  Then, the creators of this exhibit are looking for you.  “Da Vinci and Michelangelo:  Side by Side” is one of those for-profit traveling exhibits that appear in shopping centers and commercial spaces for a few months before moving on to the next stop on the tour, like Bodies or the Titanic exhibit.  While it might seem like a new trend, popping up over the last decade or so, it’s really an idea as old as exhibitions and museums  The creator of modern exhibitionism and showmanship, P.T. Barnum, exhibited George Washington’s 120+ year-old nanny and other dubious “historical” objects throughout his careers.

This exhibit, in Atlanta at the time of this writing, is built on a great concept, focusing on the two greatest creative men of the Renaissance and arguably of all time.  There are reproductions of their most famous works  and lots of informative exhibits.  Several of Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebook designs, foreshadowing inventions that wouldn’t be devised for hundreds of years, come to life as models, several of which are hands-on.  Da Vinci has always been my favorite personality in history, and his notebooks, which were never intended for anyone else to see, contain hundreds of designs ahead of their time that Leonardo never actually built.  Now, you can see them in action and get a sense of just how advanced he was as a thinker.

The exhibit offers free guided tours and has an excellent accompanying audio tour that you can do on your own.  There are also a couple of video stations in the exhibit and a couple of activity areas for kids.  There is a large gift shop of course, and the staff seemed to be enthusiastic. 

For more information and to see if the exhibit is coming to your area, check out the website .  Tip: If you want to see this exhibit or any similar exhibit, check out the discount sites like Groupon, Living Social, Travelzoo, etc.  Travelzoo offered a 2 for 1 deal on tickets in Atlanta.

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