Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Museum Exhibits

When we have a chance to view interesting exhibits, we take it. This summer we visited two unique displays of historic significance. One was in downtown Denver, around the Pavilions, off 16th Street mall. Da Vinci Machine Exhibit will continue through December, 2012.
Included in the exhibit were drawings that Da Vinci did in the 1500's--and along with these drawings are models from the drawings.

This is a model of his tank formation--there are over 60 models on site to view up close, some you can actually work and touch.

Leonardo da Vinci has become the definition of a Renaissance Man —
 an artist, architect, designer, engineer, philosopher, and
scientist. He learned to use art, anatomy, botany, geology,
mathematics, and physics to improve on what was known in his day
and to develop new ideas.

Here is the model from the above drawing that would allow men to scale walls.

Before our modern ways to measure wind speed this is an instrument that would show men during 1500's the velocity of wind.

The notion of perpetual motion was hotly discussed in Da Vinci's time and with this model he showed there was proof.  Da Vinci's mind must have been running at full force all the time--thinking of all these things that could be--guess what?  They are to be in our present day--a brilliant man for sure, ahead of his time.

Also shown were some of the paintings that he did--this one of mother and child--just lovely to behold.

And then we come to the flying machines--while the men walk around the display and marvel at the invention, I'm walking around thinking "how did that fabric get spun and woven?  What type of loom did they use? and was the fabric linen or wool?  Spun on drop spindles by artistic women?" 

And yes, it took yards and yards of spun thread to complete this sailing fabric--but, of course, these were all on paper and not completed during those days.  Oh, well--there were the thoughts rambling through my brain.

Another historic event that took place in early days was the settlement of Pompeii and the destruction of this location of 20,000 people in 79 A.D.  This exhibit at Denver Museum of Nature and Science will continue through January, 2013.  We took the opportunity to check out this Italian sponsored display recently.  We walked through "A Day in Pompeii".  What is so fascinating about this exhibit is the amount of items that have been rescued from that disastrous volcano eruption.

We marveled at the mosaics!  And I'm thinking 'this would make a great quilt design' as I'm studying the intricate small pieces of marble that are laid in this pattern.

These marble pieces were about 1/4" or less in size--just unbelieveable!  This type of design would have been laid in the floor of the atrium as a welcoming to guests.

This mosaic was found in the burying ground--I'm thinking of the artists (workers or slaves) who designed this masterpiece and laid it all out.

Could we even imagine the time and effort it took to make it?
And how about this design?  It is reconstruction of design that would have been on pieces of furniture--maybe a couch or bed frame.  Nice border for a quilt?

Then we come to the jewelry--awesome gold necklace!

Taking a closer look--could this have been knitted? or just braided?  Or I'm thinking viking knitting.

And the frescos!!  just too unique for words! and to think these went through a massive ton of ash and fire.

Some frescos were found more complete than others.  Of course, there were no fibers or fabric found, but there was a brief touch on how they did their laundry--using urine for bleaching agent.  But, once again--I'm thinking "how did they spin the thread and weave the fabric?"  Remember they wore togas, which included nine (9) yards of fabric, linen for the women and wool for the men.  That's something to really blow your mind!!

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