Drawing on Brilliance
March 15 - October 15, 2013
This exhibit offers official patent documents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office capturing the intricacy and elegance of the country’s great inventing minds, including Edison, Tesla, Bell, the Wright Brothers, and many more. As the world’s oldest organization dedicated to registering and protecting intellectual property, the Patent and Trademark Office is charged with safeguarding inventors’ legal rights. Over the years, legal and political battles, theft, vandalism, war, and fire have threatened the office’s important mission. But through it all, the Patent and Trademark Office has continued to champion the cause of innovation and catalog our nation’s technological history for future generations. Exhibiting early American innovations to modern medical wonders, Drawing on Brilliance takes exhibition visitors on a journey through generations of inventing minds. The exhibit chronicles how one office shaped our nation and gave birth to such organizations as the Smithsonian Institution, the American Red Cross and the Department of Agriculture. Through short biographies of Hedy Lamarr, Walt Disney — even Michael Jackson — and others, Drawing on Brilliance drives home the idea that everyone is a potential inventor. Drawing on Brilliance features evocative graphics, patent models, historic artifacts, interactive exhibits, and thoughtful commentary on the process of innovation in the United States.