Leonardo’s Notebooks Come to the U.S.

The Birmingham Museum of Art is the first museum in the U.S. to exhibit the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.

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For the first time ever in the U.S. — at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama, no less — Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings and notebooks from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin will be on display. To say this is a huge deal is an understatement. In fact, this is the first time that all the pieces of the collection have been shown together outside of Turin.

Included in the exhibit, explains AP, is Leonardo’s “Codex on the Flight of Birds, an 18-page notebook which had never been shown in the United States. Thick magnifying glasses are available for visitors to truly get a sense of the detail Leonardo packed into the drawings, some of which are nearly complete and others that seem like quick doodles.”

The Birmingham show will run through November 9. After that, the drawings will head to San Francisco where they will be displayed from November 15 through January 4, 2009, at the Legion of Honor.

As there is only one Leonardo in any permanent collection in the U.S. — Ginevra de’ Benci at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC — this is truly an exhibition you don’t want to miss if you are stateside this fall.

Melanie Renzulli

Melanie Renzulli

Melanie Renzulli has been writing about travel to Italy for more than 20 years.

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