Leonardo Da Vinci’s machines give us fascinating insight into his mechanical imagination. In this two-hour workshop, we will take a closer look at four kinds of Leonardo’s machines, some represented in the exhibit, a few that we can add to our repertoire. We will look at machines that he adapted from the classical Greek mathematician Archimedes; we’ll look at machines that he built when he was inspired by the natural world; we’ll look at machines he imagined to explore the possibility of perpetual motion (and which led him, eventually, to regard it as impossible); and we’ll look at machines that he envisioned to transform motion. We’ll also compare Leonardo’s way of thinking about machines with our own. The workshop format is a chance for us to think in conversation about Leonardo’s mechanical mind. After introductory remarks on the history of each set of machines, participants will discuss images of Leonardo’s machines to deepen their understanding of his way of thinking. No experience with engineering or mathematics is required. Be prepared for a lively conversation about Leonardo’s world.
Dr. Natalie Elliot is an assistant professor at St. John’s College, where she teaches cross-disciplinary courses in classics, history of science, mathematics, English literature, philosophy, and music. Her research focuses on the interplay between Renaissance literature and early modern science. At present, she is at work on a book called Shakespeare and the Theater of the Universe, which explains Shakespeare’s poetic response to the scientific Renaissance. In addition to her appointment at St. John’s College, Elliot has held research and teaching positions at The Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, Indiana University’s Hutton Honors College, and Southern Methodist University. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas.
Cost $50 ($45 for members). Cost includes admission to Da Vinci: The Genius exhibit the day of the workshop. For adults and students age 10 and above. Preregistration is required. Cost includes admission to Da Vinci: The Genius exhibit the day of the workshop. For adults and students age 10 and above. Preregistration is required.
This event is made possible by the support of the New Mexico Humanities Council and National Endowment for the Humanities.