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Da Vinci Machine Exhibition

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by Susan J Bowes (subscribe)
Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
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Leonardo da Vinci, a genius far beyond his time
As a child I had a small picture of the Mona Lisa on my bedroom wall. I marvelled at this mystic woman whose eyes could follow me around the room and whose look of serenity on her face could bring calm to my soul. I was terribly disappointed in 1980 when I visited The Louvre in Paris, to find how small the painting actually was and so hard to get a good look at it with the number of people all trying to do the same. The shade of dark and light created by Da Vinci in his paintings lifts his subjects from the canvas as if he or she was standing right before you.

Art, Toowoomba, Exhibitions, Workshops, Da Vinci, Things to See, Coffee, Machines, History
Mona Lisa, Da Vinci Exhibition (Author's Photo)


The renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci was not only a magnificent painter but also the inventor of many creations that the world would not see manufactured or used for generations to come. There is no doubt he was a genius and my one wish would be to be a student in his studio. As time cannot move backwards, we can today visit the Cobb & Co Museum in Toowoomba, where an interactive touring exhibition for all ages is being held from now until 27th May 2018.

Art, Toowoomba, Exhibitions, Workshops, Da Vinci, Things to See, Coffee, Machines, History
Leonardo da Vinci (Author's Photo)


The exhibition is on loan from the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence, Italy, where machines were created from da Vinci's drawings. It was interesting walking around the displays to hear the amazement in people's voices as they read and interacted with some items to realise the mammoth diversity of Leonardo's genius creative mind that had a vision far beyond any visible future of that time.

Art, Toowoomba, Exhibitions, Workshops, Da Vinci, Things to See, Coffee, Machines, History
Armoured vehicle, prototype for modern tanks (Author's Photo)


Among his inventions are automations (which were the precursors to robots), war machines, tanks, flying machines or parachutes, the bicycle, the scuba suit, a spring powered car, a paddle boat, gears, a hydraulic pump, a pulley, and much more. I was amazed that the pulley was his design, something so simple that we use in everyday life. Each display or painting is accompanied by a readable stand explaining the article and what was its purpose of design. How far would the world have come today if Leonardo's inventions were manufactured and used 500 years ago?

Art, Toowoomba, Exhibitions, Workshops, Da Vinci, Things to See, Coffee, Machines, History
Leonardo's design of a machine that could move through water (Author's Photo)


The Cobb & Co Museum is located in Lindsay Street Toowoomba and is open from 9.30am to 4.00pm daily. They are closed on Good Friday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day & Boxing Day. If you are a Toowoomba resident, the da Vinci Exhibition is free; however you must show proof of residency. Usual prices and for people living outside of Toowoomba are $12.50 Adults, $10 Concession and Children 3-15 years are $6.50. Annual passes are also available to purchase.

Art, Toowoomba, Exhibitions, Workshops, Da Vinci, Things to See, Coffee, Machines, History
Double hull, now applied to all ships (Author's Photo)


The museum is holding a number of Blacksmith workshops throughout 2018. Classes in basics, advanced, teens and two and three-day Blacksmith projects will be available. Other hands on workshops include Stained Glass Leadlighting, Leather-plaiting, Wheel Wrighting and Millinery. More information on these classes can be located on their website or by telephoning the museum on 07 4659 4900.

Art, Toowoomba, Exhibitions, Workshops, Da Vinci, Things to See, Coffee, Machines, History
The use of gears (Author's Photo)


You are sure to spend several hours at the Museum as there are other displays on show like the National Carriage Factory, Blacksmith Shop, Toowoomba Gallery, Binabgar Aboriginal Gallery, Windmill Gallery, Museum Shop and Coffee Shop. In the middle of the Coffee Shop is a Playpit for children, incorporating seating around the Playpit for you to watch your children while enjoying a beverage or lunch.

Art, Toowoomba, Exhibitions, Workshops, Da Vinci, Things to See, Coffee, Machines, History
Carriage Museum (Author's Photo)


Toowoomba is approximately one hour and forty minutes from Brisbane CBD. Once you drive into Toowoomba there are signs to show you the way to the Museum. The exhibition is well worth the drive to Toowoomba.
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Why? Marvel at Leonardo da Vinci's inventions over 500 years ago
When: 9/12/2017 to 27/05/2018
Phone: 07 4659 4900
Where: Cobb & Co Museum
Cost: Toowoomba residents free, Adults $12.50, Concession $10.00, Children $6.50
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