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Leonardo da Vinci Codex Exhibit 

Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester Exhibit

Presented by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts 

Exhibition Dates: June 21 – August 30, 2015 

To celebrate its 100 anniversary, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA), one of the Midwest premier art institutions, is offering a special exhibit, “Leonardo da Vinci, the Codex Leicester and the Creative Mind" on view this summer.  A rare Leonardo da Vinci manuscript from the collection of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the codex dates to Leonardo's time in Milan, and comprises 18 sheets of linen paper, folded to create 72 pages. Leonardo used his notebooks to frame questions, record observations, develop theories and experiments to test them, and further refine his ideas based on the results. 

The Codex Leicester, one of only 31 Leonardo notebooks known to exist, features the artist and scientist's distinctive right-to-left "mirror writing" and includes his drawings, texts and observations about the properties of water, and how it might behave on the moon and other planets. The MIA will offer visitors a complete translation and explanation of the codex through an interactive touch-screen digital device called the Codascope. Audiences can explore the document in depth and take in a contemporary interpretation of the document.

See the MIA website for exhibit information and related events.

The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is proud to co-sponsor this unique exhibit and is planning a series of unique events for all our members and friends in conjunction with the Leonardo’s Codex exhibit. 


Special Events

Symposium - Leonardo Da Vinci: the Scientist, The Inventor, The Artist: Legacy of the Ultimate Renaissance Man.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

5:00 – 7:30 PM

Location: Center for Early Modern History, 1210 Heller Hall, University of Minnesota (West Bank)

Parking is available at the 19th Street Ramp (across from HHH and Carlson), and at the 21st Ave. & 4th Street ramp (across from Rarig Center).

This event is FREE but seating is limited – Please register here to reserve a seat.

In the 15th century, Leonardo formulated and experimented scientific principles based on evidence. Only in recent years experts in various disciplines have begun to analyze and elucidate the thousands of pages contained in his manuscripts, including the Codex Leicester on exhibit at MIA this summer. In this workshop, 4 highly recognized Leonardo experts will present Leonardo’s vast legacy from different perspectives.

Our panelists:

Alex Bortolot, curator of the Codex Leicester Exhibit and content strategist at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. A specialist in African art, he helped reinterpret the museum’s African galleries, and is overseeing a reinterpretation of all galleries to ensure a state-of-the-art visitor experience. He was previously an assistant curator at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College.

Mark Rosheim, engineer, inventor and founder of Ross-Hime Designs, has produced designs and products based on Leonardo’s drawings. He is the author of 3 books including Leonardo’s Lost Robots and has published many articles and lectured at several prestigious institutions.

Michael Gaudio, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in the visual arts of early modern Europe and the Atlantic world, and has published widely on the visual arts in relation to early modern science, religion, and cultural encounter.

The presentations:

Alex Bortolot will present “Leonardo da Vinci, the Codex Leicester, and the Creative Mind”. He will discuss the MIA exhibit of the same title and explore its central premise: that the Codex Leicester, one of Leonardo's scientific notebooks, provides a window into his creative process, and allows us to draw connections between his work and that of contemporary artists, engineers, and designers.

Mark Rosheim, outstanding expert on Leonardo, will present "Leonardo's Robot Lion". This promises to be an intriguing topic given the many accolades and television appearances Mark has collected in his career.

Michael Gaudio will discuss “Art and Science in the Work of Leonardo da Vinci”. He will talk about Leonardo's work and its relationship to our modern categories of "art" and "science."

The presentations will be followed by a short Questions & Answers session.


Thank you to the Center for Early Modern History, University of Minnesota and the Department of History (CLA), University of Minnesota for their valuable contribution.

Corporate Sponsor:


1st Annual "Lago di Como" 5K Fun Run/Walk 


Saturday, July 25, 2015

9:00 AM

Location: Como Lake, St. Paul 

Start & finish lines at E. Lake Como Dr. & Lakeview Ave. (directly across from the Lakeside Pavilion, on the east side of the lake)

Two pairs of vouchers for the Leonardo’s Codex Exhibit at MIA ($40 value) will be awarded to 1st & 2nd place winners.  Additional vouchers will be raffled at the end of the race; all participants will automatically be entered (you do not need to be present to win).

Download the Registration Form (PDF)

Download the Sponsorship Form (PDF)

All proceeds from the race will benefit the Italian Cultural Center, a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization – EIN # 06-1778894.


Grazie to our Sponsors:

Sebastian Joe's Original Ice Cream
Engage Health
Giacomo D'Aurora
L.A. Fitness
Chanhassen Dinner Theater
Paul Piazza, Sr.

Congratulazioni ai vincitori (the winners):

Primo posto: David Quie (20.41.80)
Secondo posto: David Johnson (23.17.81)

Cocktail Reception at historic Clifton Mansion 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

6:30 - 9:30 PM

Location: Clifton Mansion, 300 Clifton Avenue, Minneapolis

ICC & MIA Members $45 / Non-members $55
We are happy to extend our member price ($45) to all MIA members. To register and receive this price, please contact the ICC at 612-298-2223.

Join us in welcoming the Italian Consul in Chicago, Adriano Monti in his first official visit to the Twin Cities as he meets members and supporters of the Italian Cultural Center and pays homage to Leonardo’s genius. 

The evening will kick off with a few remarks from the Consul as well as JB Shank, Director of the Center for Early Modern History at the University of Minnesota; Alex Bortolot, Curator of the Codex Leicester Exhibit and content strategist at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; and Mark Balma, renowned local artist. Participants will enjoy passed and stationary hors d'oeuvres and desserts complemented by a selection of high quality Italian wines. 

The renovated 300 Clifton House is a fitting location to host this reception for its elegance and historic ties to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Off-street parking is available.

All proceeds will benefit the Italian Cultural Center.

Catering provided by:

Epicurean Garden Catering


Grazie to our Sponsors:

300 Clifton
Artful Living magazine

The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
 528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | (612) 295-4111 

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