Leonardo's Clothespin

Eli Whitney Museum

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The 1st Leonardo Challenge

Leonardo's Clothespin

Thumbnail of Leonardo's Clothespin project

On May 18th, 1995, the Eli Whitney Museum will open an exhibition of small designs submitted by professional designers, artists, and educators…

These designs will embody the adult expression of the craft and creativity we foster in children.

  • The event will introduce our Leonardo Project, a design arts curriculum for schools, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • The exhibit, Leonardo‘s Clothespin, will explore design as a way of thinking.
  • The exhibit will support the National Endowment’s commitment to the arts as essential education.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks define the products and processes of design. Leonardo explores his world with the eyes of a Scientist; he reinvents it with the hands of an Artist. He directs students in architecture and landscape design, in fashion and theatrical design, in product design and graphic design: all of the creative expressions that surround humankind.

Leonardo’s own exercises become teaching tools to supplement regular classroom lessons and projects.

For example, Transformation: to make a beautiful costume, Leonardo writes, take inexpensive cloth, coat it with lacquer, dye it, stencil it, then sprinkle on millet to give the impression of fine embroidery.

Our classroom exercise:
Use common materials to transform a clothespin into a recognizable character to support your book report.

Help us demonstrate the possibilities of this commission: transform a clothespin to show design at work.

  • We will send you clothespins, a cigar box and further guidelines.
  • Add materials as you wish.
  • Use the cigar box to frame your entry.
  • Return your completed design by May 12th.

Call 777.1833 to request materials. For a $25 contribution, you will receive a ticket to the May 18th reception, a Leonardo’s Clothespin T- shirt, and more importantly, partnership in this educational effort.

Clothespin Logo

Clothespin Logo

"Flower" Hunter Nesbitt Spence

"Nude Descending a Staircase" Phil Bacon

"Mona Lisa" Mark Simon

"Dragonfly" Vladimir Shpitalnik

"Piano" Randy Siress

"Da Vinci Pasta" Alice Roche, "Reason Sardines" Patricia Garland, "Sardines" Sally Hill, "Clothes Cover Before Striking" Sally Hill

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