Named after and inspired by the definitive polymath Leonardo da Vinci, the Leonardo opened on October 8, 2011 at the Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City. Its previous building was the Salt Lake City Public Library, which moved out in 1998.
The innovative museum treats visitors of all ages as collaborators than mere observers, encouraging them to engage their curiosity and realize possibilities. Visitors are introduced to new technologies and processes never thought before, ultimately leading to new perspectives and idea evolution. They also have an opportunity to interact with experts and thinkers of various fields such as science, philosophy and art.
Unlike the conventional museum where the exhibits are passively viewed by the visitor, the Leonardo's exhibits function by interacting with its visitors and environment. Exhibits include the Hylozoic Veil, an intelligent three-story high meshwork installation that reacts to visitors' movements, and the Dynamic Performance of Nature, a color spectrum that artistically depicts the world's environmental and geographical changes. Other exhibits that combine art and science chart the perception of places and the impact of algae. Leonardo also has a 1,000 square foot Innovation Gallery featuring Utah's ground-breaking inventions and a 4,200 square foot Human Rights Gallery for displays, discussions and film screenings about the human condition. Visitors can try their hands at creating animations via Digital Commons, participate in genetic studies via Gene Lab and join classes, lectures and workshops at the Lab @ Leo.