Charles C. Dent and the entire Dent family have played a very important role in the history of Da Vinci Science Center. Charles’ dream was to build the horse that Leonardo da Vinci never was able to finish. He incorporated Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse, Inc. (LDVHI) in 1982 as a nonprofit organization, and led the charge to have the horse built from 1982-1994. Unfortunately, Charles passed away on Dec. 25, 1994, shortly after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Just like Leonardo, he had worked for 17 years without finishing the horse. Charles’ nephew, Peter Dent took on the reigns of the nonprofit. With the help of countless donors and the talents of sculptor Nina Akamu and the Talix Art Foundry in Beacon, N.Y., the horse was shared with the world at a grand unveiling in Milan on Sept. 10, 1999, 500 years to the reported day that Leonardo’s clay model of the horse had been destroyed by French troops.
The horse is the symbol of what Leonardo da Vinci exemplified. His inspiration, courage, determination, curiosity, creativity, and imagination are all principals that made it so easy for the Discovery Center of Science and Technology and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Horse to merge to become Da Vinci Science Center in 2003.
Through the years the Dent family has played an integral role at the Da Vinci Science Center. Peter Dent served as the Chairman of the Board of Da Vinci Science Center. His wife, Kathleen, was one of the original Gala Committee Chairs. Peter is an expert on Leonardo da Vinci and has kept a close relationship with our sister city and friends in Milan. Peter has presented numerous programs on the topic of Leonardo da Vinci, the horse, and Italian history for the Center and serves as an adviser on all of our Leonardo offerings.
Congressman Charlie Dent, Peter’s brother, has been a strong advocate for science education and workforce development and along with his wife, Pam, has also been involved with the Center for many years.