New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

Da Vinci Dialogues program gets $5000 Grant from New Mexico Humanities Council

May 05, 2018


The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) has received a generous grant of $5000 from New Mexico Humanities Council to support the Museum’s series of education programs called “Da Vinci Dialogues”. 

Da Vinci Dialogues illustrates the many facets of Leonardo’s genius as an artist, inventor, and scientist. The "Dialogues" consist of public lectures, panel discussions, and workshops that include various experts who present information that will spark questions and discussion from the audience.

The New Mexico Humanities Council is our state’s independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ayesha Burdett (NMMNHS Director of Collections and Research) and Jayne Aubele (NMMNHS Adult Programs Educator) are co-Project Directors. The grant will be administered through the NM Museum of Natural History Foundation.

“We are grateful to the NM Humanities Council for the support of our da Vinci educational programming,” said Margie Marino, NMMNHS Executive Director. “We believe that museums can make a face-to-face connection between the public and a local scholar in an informal venue. Putting a ‘human face’ on scholarship is especially important for forging personal connections between members of the public and thought-provoking topics in the sciences.

Included is a complete listing of all events that have taken place since Da Vinci Dialogues began in April, as well as the remaining programs scheduled through the end of the Da Vinci—The Genius exhibition in July. The first two Da Vinci Dialogue events were; a seminar-style discussion on April 14th about Leonardo’s Machines, led by Natalie Elliot, Ph.D., Assistant Prof, St. John’s College, Santa Fe; and a panel discussion on April 25th featuring   Dr. Joseph Galewsky (UNM), Mr. Joseph Aragon (Acoma Pueblo), Dr. Larry Crumpler (NMMNHS/NASA) Ms. Miriam Langer (NM Highlands Media Arts), and Mr. Dan McCulley (Intel) that explored the connections between today’s science and technology compared to Leonardo’s time.

“The events that have already been held have been hugely successful. The Museum looks forward to more engaging conversations between the public and our local New Mexico experts as we explore the remarkable achievements of Leonardo da Vinci,” said Marino.

All the events have been made possible by support of the New Mexico Humanities Council and Endowment for the Humanities. Scholarships are available for the workshops, and discounted admission is available for the lectures and panel discussions. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to


da Vinci Evening Lecture

Art and Geoscience: Leonardo’s Landscapes

Wednesday, May 9, 2018   •   6:30-8 p.m.

by Gary Rosenberg, Ph.D., Adjunct Curator Milwaukee Public Museum,

Emeritus Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis Leonardo’s first work of art was a landscape drawing that showed principles of geology, 200 years before the science was actually founded! How can we use his genius to appreciate the landscape around us?


da Vinci Panel Discussion

Science and Art: Intersections

Wednesday, May 23, 2018    •   6:30-8 p.m.

Listen to artists who are inspired by science and nature, and scientists who use art in their science. Moderator Dr. Andrea Polli (UNM), Panelists Mr. John Feins (MeowWolf), Mr. Tom Greenbaum (Intel), Dr. William Hartmann (Planetary Science Institute), and Ms. Jeannette Hart-Mann (UNM).


da Vinci Workshop

Scientific Illustration

Saturday, June 23, 2018   •   10 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Matt Celeskey, Natural History Illustrator and Exhibit Designer. Leonardo used techniques in his notebooks that are used today by scientific illustrators. We will examine how he combined observation, science, and artistic creativity to create works that are still relevant, then experiment with our own sketches. Supplies will be provided.


da Vinci Evening Lecture

Leonardo: The Time and Place of da Vinci’s Genius and His Legacy in Modern Italy

Wednesday, July 18, 2018   •   6:30-8 p.m.

by Miriam Franchina, Ph.D., Italian Historian. Da Vinci’s achievements

are acclaimed by the modern world, but what was Leonardo’s world like? Join Dr. Franchina as she discusses the context of time and place within which he worked - and the way in which he is viewed today in Italy. Dr. Miriam Franchina specializes in historical and archival research. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Milan, Italy (where da Vinci spent much of his time) and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Halle, Germany.


About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science: Established in 1986, the mission of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning. The NMMNHS offers exhibitions, programs and workshops in Geoscience, including Paleontology and Mineralogy, Bioscience and Space Science. It is the Southwest’s largest repository for fossils and includes a Planetarium and a large format 3D DynaTheater. A division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the Museum is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and new year’s day. 1801 Mountain Road NW, northeast of Historic Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, NM 87104, (505) 841-2800.  Events, news releases and images about activities at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and other divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at








Related Photos

Mysteries of the Mona Lisa. Courtesy: Grande Exhibitions
VITE AEREA drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. Courtesy Grande Exhibitions

Back to Press Release List »