Sunday, March 1, 2009

TSS: Edgar, Leonardo, and Michelangelo

The Sunday Yesterday when our family was leaving for the science museum to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit, Chris beat me to the car and implanted himself triumphantly in the passenger seat with his book on his lap.

"But...when am I going to read?" I asked forlornly through the driver's side door, book tucked under my arm.

He laughed. "On the way home?" he suggested.

You see, my husband recently checked out The Story of Edgar Sawtelle from the library, and he's got a plan: If he reads 40 pages per day, he can finish it before it has to go back in three weeks. Forty pages is a lot for a man who rarely spends more than half an hour reading on a weekday, and frequently doesn't read at all. The guy is clearly motivated to finish this book I've vowed not to read. So, reading in the car will have to be his prerogative, this time.

The da Vinci exhibit, which we were visiting for the second time, is fabulous. Going back to da Vinci's original drawings and using materials that would have been available to him, these folks have built life-sized (or near to it) versions of his ideas--many of which have never been built before. Flying machines that never flew hang from the ceiling, predecessors of cranes, tanks, and automobiles are parked throughout the hall along with models of bridges and an entire town built to resist a plague. In one hands-on section, you can turn different types of wooden gears and ball bearings Leonardo studied and invented, and learn how the same ideas are used in modern machines. Then there's the room of mirrors, and the art section, where infrared photography has allowed us to learn more about the Mona Lisa than you ever dreamed you cared to know. If this exhibit travels anywhere near you and you have any interest at all in history, science, or art, I urge you to go.

And what does all this have to do with reading, you ask? I haven't read the Da Vinci Code and don't plan to. But, I'm currently reading A Journey Into Michelangelo's Rome, from the ArtPlace series. Since Michelangelo and Leonardo were contemporaries, it's been fascinating to compare what I'm reading to what I'm seeing at the museum. I'll have more to say about Michelangelo this Friday, when I review the book in commemoration of his birthday.


  1. Sounds like a great exhibit - I can see why you'd want to see it more than once. And I agree about the "Sawtelle" book - I have no plans to read it even though it seems everyone else on the planet has.

  2. I haven't decided about Edgar Sawtelle, but I'm jealous that you can read in the car.

  3. Interesting how you posted about books you intend not to read. I bet that exhibit is terrific!

  4. I just checked out Edgar Sawtelle from the library and have less than two weeks to start and finish it. If I don't care for it, I'm putting it down.

  5. Vasilly, my husband finished it in about a week, and he liked it a lot! I'm hoping to do a post with him about it.