In 1949 the Committee for the celebrations of the 500 years from the birth of Leonardo da Vinci presents, to the then mayor of Milan Antonio Greppi, the project of a dedicated exhibition to inaugurate the Museum and replicate the success of the 1939 Da Vinci exhibition. The technical-scientific perspective aimed to show the survival of medieval heritage in Da Vinci’s work.

When the Museum opened on 15 February 1953, the models of the Da Vinci machines were displayed for the first time and later donated to the Museum as part of its permanent collection. Alberto Mario Soldatini designed the first permanent display in the Galleria Leonardo, which was inaugurated in 1956 and became the beating heart of the Museum. Models of military machines, work machines and other devices were exhibited next to the large urban model of Da Vinci’s ideal city.

After a minor renovation of the display platforms and labels in 2009, the Gallery has remained substantially unchanged. In 2019, for the 500 years from Da Vinci’s death, the Museum will prepare a completely new and immersive display that will strongly link Leonardo da Vinci with his contemporaries and ancient sources, telling the story of this amazing character through the most recent curatorial interpretations.