Father’s Day is always tricky for me. I never know what presents to buy for hubby and this year was no exception. So, I took a “page” from our daughter’s philosophy that experiences far exceeds “things” when it comes to present giving. I took that sage advice and gave hubby a pass to the National Presidential Libraries (NARA.org) with our first stop- the Reagan Library.
This summer the Reagan library is hosting the Da Vinci collection. In essence, it was a handful of his mechanical drawings of tools. From his attempts to draw prototypes for flight to weapons that could create massive amounts of injury or death. Yes, the painter of the Mona Lisa must have spent many hours thinking dark thoughts to create such drawings that were more like “Dexter” than the angels he depicted in his earliest paintings.
Da Vinci’s life and artwork have been long chronicled. However, there remain many unanswered questions about his greatest works and the thought processes that were involved with his artistry and his mechanical drawings.
For example, The Mona Lisa is one piece from Da Vinci’s portfolio that is veiled in continual mystery. Was ‘Mona Lisa” a woman or a man that captured the love interest of the reportedly homosexual DaVinci?
Secondly, the painting of the Last Supper has kept the interest and populated many a question by art and theology aficionados. Why did Da Vinci paint the 12 disciples and Christ as he did?
Also, at the Reagan library you will find Andy Warhol’s rendition of the Last Supper. The two juxtapose exhibits presented an interesting mix of pop culture meeting ancient masterpieces!
Below are the replicas on display at the Reagan library.
Allot two hours to really walk and enjoy the DaVinci exhibit. Then treat yourselves to lunch or a snack at the cafe on the grounds.
I would recommend not leaving before you visit the other notable parts of this vast library, including Air Force 1, Marine 1 and the gardens.
In the outside gardens you will find the burial place for the President and First Lady. Surrounded by a vista that is simply lovely.
Roses bushes adorn the exterior and must have been a favorite of Nancy Reagan.
You will also find a slab of the Berlin Wall. The docent indicated that this particular section was chosen as President Reagan looked the butterfly drawing that was on the Western Side. The Eastern Side is blank. Just concrete.
Inside, there are scores of exhibits that chronicle the two terms of the Reagan presidency and his life before and after. If visiting expect to add at least two more hours to cover these exhibits and visit the actual Air Force One and Marine One aircraft.