Speaking as an individual citizen from Clearfield and based on my personal
experience as a volunteer at the Museum (independently from anyone associated
with the Museum), I wanted to add my perception that the delayed opening of the
Museum from the spring of 2011 to October 2011, for whatever construction reason
justified or not, may have hurt the Museum financially in a substantial way
without any fault of The Leonardo, its Director, staff, employees, volunteers,
or the exhibits themselves. Hopefully, state legslators and the Governor will
add this belief to the total record when making a decision about funding the
critical priorities in this State.
While visiting Utah over Christmas Vacation I went to the Leonardo with my
family. I was very disappointed in the thrown together feel of the whole place.
It felt as though anyone and everyone involved had a chance to say lets try this
exhibit or this one or this one and it ended up the disjointed mess that it is.
There were so many examples of dead space and exhibits with little to no
explanation at all, like the grass planted on the lower level and signs about
the importance of algae but no reasons why. I love going to museums and was very
excited to go to the Leonardo but it is just a mess. Hopefully if they get this
money they will hire somebody that knows how to fix things.
More government dollars for something the people don't want. Throwing good money
after bad. If the museum can't survive on its own then it doesn't need to be
A museum that charges $14 admission should never be taking public money. Period.
The public has already been ripped off enough.
Allengeny's negative comments may be understandable in some ways in regards to
the new Leonardo funded, in part, by what I understand to be "loans" not
actual gifts or grants from Salt Lake City corporation in responding to
DeltaFoxTrot as concerned about the use of taxpayer money. Admittedly from what
I have learned, two or three of the main exhibits on the first floor in the
public lobby were funded by Salt Lake City residents as works of art available
free to the public and, in particular the Hylozoic Veil which has received a
tremendous amount of positive and magical feedback from those what have seen and
experienced it.Turning back to Allengeny's concern, as a volunteer
during the first three years at the Utah Children's Museum of Utah when it was
located on Beck Street in the old Wasatch Plunge/Springs, there were the usual
exhibit adjustments and set design and staffing improvements normal in many such
Museums, and during which for several years bordered on financial collapse, but
it made it through and has now become a premiere Museum at the Gateway.As for The Leonardo, the most common expression used by most visitors seeing
The Leonardo for the first time is "awesome." Almost all of the the
children are exicited as they plunge into the interactive exhibits while
exhausted grandparents apparently sit it out on the soft couches upstairs,
perhaps used to the more traditional and logically laid out format of a quiet
art museum. Finally, The Leonardo Board decided to retain the 47-year old,
27-foot high Doug Snow oil on canvas abstract from the original opening of the
Salt Lake City Public Library on the first floor. When the library opened that
huge abstract painting also attracted much concern and puzzlement but has since
been accepted as a fascinating piece of historical art. Hopefully, for those
skeptics, before making any final judgments about The Leonardo, arrange for a
special tour of the place before making a decision about the future of the
Leonardo, maybe you will experience something or discovery something exciting
and wonderful in the meantime.