Historic photographs of Dayton and a fresh look at the Mona Lisa are on display at the Dayton Art Institute

Two new Dayton Art Institute Centennial Focus Exhibitions, Mona Lisa Today and William Preston Mayfield Photographs are on display.

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Mona Lisa Today, on view through Jan. 12, 2020,  is a modern-day reproduction of what the Mona Lisa, which is housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, may have looked like when it was painted in 1503. It honors the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death in 1519.

Using data conducted by a team of experts from the Louvre and her own research, artist Jenness Cortez was commissioned to paint a reproduction that shows the vibrant colors and fresh details of the original.

“We continue to be fascinated by and learn from the art and writings of Leonardo, even half-a-millennium after his death, said Dr. Jerry N. Smith, DAI chief curator in a release. “His close observation of nature brought freshness and subtlety to his subjects, and this exploration into what the Mona Lisa might have looked like when still new offers us a fun opportunity to appreciate Leonardo’s remarkable achievements in art.”

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William Preston Mayfield Photographs, on view through Jan. 5, 2020,  highlights the work of a groundbreaking photojournalist working in Dayton in the early 20th century. Mayfield learned to use a camera at age 9 and began working for the Dayton Journal at age 12.

In 1910, then working as a staff photographer for the Dayton Daily News, the persistent 14-year old Mayfield convinced Orville Wright to take him on a flight. From 300 feet in the air aboard an “Exhibition B” Flyer, Mayfield took what is believed to be the first aerial image from a plane in the United States.

In addition to his work as a photographer for the Dayton Daily News, Mayfield later owned his own photography and aerial photography business. His photographic subjects document the vibrancy, challenges and changing landscape of Dayton over his six-decade long career. The exhibition presents a unique portrait of Dayton during the 20th century.

“We are thrilled to present these fantastic photographs by William Preston Mayfield,” said Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth, the DAI’s Kettering curator of photography and special projects. “Mayfield captured major events in Dayton’s history, such as the 1913 flood, aviation developments and celebrations related to the end of World War I.”

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Admission to Mona Lisa Today and William Preston Mayfield Photographs is free for museum members and included in the museum’s general admission for non-members. General admission is $15 adults; $10 seniors (60+), active military and groups (10 or more); $5 students (18+ w/ID) and youth (ages 7–17); free for children (ages 6 & younger).

For more information: www.daytonartinstitute.org or call 937-223-4ART (4278).

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