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Leonardo da Vinci and PopMicroscopy: Bridging Art and Science Towards the Future

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo Da Vinci’s death, the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC is proud to host the photographic exhibition “Leonardo and Pop Microscopy. Bridging Art and Science towards the Future”, organized in collaboration with the One Health Center of Excellence at the University of Florida in Gainesville and the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (iit) in Genoa, Italy.

“Leonardo is the ingenious mind who brought together Art and Science, the interdisciplinary man of the Renaissance par excellence. He epitomizes that creativity which has long distinguished Italy and, as Italians, it is our duty to keep this interdisciplinary culture alive” said the Ambassador of Italy to the US, Armando Varricchio. “The spirit of Leonardo lives on today in the work of the over 15.000 Italian scientists and researchers working in the most advanced university centers and laboratories throughout the United States, in all disciplines from physics to biology, from mathematics to advanced manufacturing, from medicine to space” he continued.

Pop Microscopy features a series of stunning high-resolution images of cells, molecules, organs and tissues, revealing the beauty and artistry of form and function in an otherwise hidden world. The works on display are optical microscopy photographs, acquired by prominent scientists and Nobel Prize winners, such as Eric Betzig, Martin Chalfie and Stefan W. Hell, and published in prestigious scientific journals. The images were taken in laboratories, then transposed into striking art, with a distinct pop art flair.

First exhibited at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in November 2015, this travelling show was on view in different locations at the University of Florida between June 2018 and February 2019, engaging various department and research centers in a rich interdisciplinary dialogue on Science, the Humanities and Art. Pop Microscopy was designed and developed at the iit Nikon Imaging Center by Alberto Diaspro, Director of the Department of Nanophysics at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, in collaboration with scientists from Italy and from around the globe, and curated by Claudia Diaspro.