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Three on the Road: Lauren Rogers Museum: DaVinci Machines

Admission fee to enter the museum? Free of charge!
Updated: Sep. 21, 2018 at 5:26 PM CDT
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LAUREL, MS (WLBT) -The city of Laurel is a lumber town. The Rogers family was into timber, and when their son Lauren died in his early 20s, the family wanted to do something for Laurel that would have had as big an impact on the town as their son would have, if he had he lived. So they built and endowed the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, with its continual parade of traveling exhibitions like the one that’s there now: the Da Vinci Machines.

Leonardo Da Vinci is best known for his paintings, but he also sketched a bunch of machines. Some were science fiction for his day, kind of like the rocket ships I doodled during English class in third grade.

Tommie Rodgers is with the museum and says the machines are a rare 3D glimpse into the mind of Da Vinci, that he probably didn’t get to see. Most of these sketches remained sketches in his day.

“He had many drawings and sketches that never came to fruition," said Rodgers. “So the machines are a precursor of what we know in our modern times of a lot of machines.”

His machines were practical, like aids to exercise and a better way to row your boat; and fanciful like ways for people to fly.

I’m sure they were more than just doodlings. Did he actually plan to build any of these?

I’m not a Da Vinci expert, so I’m not sure. But we have these examples of what they would have looked like had he done so.

“A lot of these objects can be touched," added Rodgers. “And moved and worked and kids can interact with them.”

And probably what’s really exciting about the Da Vinci Machines exhibition at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and like everything else here, there’s absolutely no admission charge to come see it. That’s a part of the ongoing gift the Rogers family left Laurel, no admission charge to the museum, ever.

“You’d certainly pay quite a hefty price to see this in any other city," Tommie Rodgers reminded us. "So we’re thankful that we can present it to you free.”

The Da Vinci Machines will be at the Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel thru November 11. And again, it’s free.

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