Renaissance Invention | Newberry

Renaissance Invention

An engraving from the Nova Reperta shows armor being produced. Printed in the late 16th-century, the Nova Reperta was a popular series of prints depicting major recent inventions and updates to ancient ones.

Led by Suzanne Karr Schmidt, Lia Markey, Jonathan Tavares, Pedro Raposo, and Jen Farrell. Four sessions. 2 - 3 pm.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Tuesdays, October 6 - October 27

2 - 3 pm 

Full. Email to be added to the wait list.

As a precaution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars Program’s Fall 2020 term will continue to be held virtually. Virtual seminars meet via Zoom video conference and use email and Google Drive folders to share resources and communicate with instructors and participants. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars and these tools, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please feel free to reach out to

For more information about the Newberry’s response to COVID-19 please visit

Seminar Description

Complementing the Newberry’s exhibition, Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s Nova Reperta, this seminar comprises four one-hour virtual sessions with staff from the Newberry, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Adler Planetarium, and Starshaped Press. Participants will learn about sixteenth-century technology first-hand, exploring three major themes of the exhibition--warfare, navigation, and the printing press--through a tour of the exhibition with Newberry curators, a visit to a print studio for a virtual demonstration, and a chance to analyze and deconstruct invention behind the scenes with objects and instruments from the Art Institute and the Adler Planetarium.

October 6: Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s Nova Reperta at the Newberry Library with Lia Markey and Suzanne Karr Schmidt

October 13: Printmaking at Starshaped Press with Jen Farrell (Please note: this session will meet from 4 - 5pm.)

October 20: Navigation at the Adler Planetarium with Pedro Raposo

October 27: Warfare at the Art Institute of Chicago with Jonathan Tavares

Four sessions. Registration – $120

Suzanne Karr Schmidt is the George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Newberry. Previously, she was Assistant Curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lia Markey is the Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry. She currently teaches at the University of Chicago.

Jonathan Tavares is Associate Curator of Arms, Armor and European Decorative Arts before 1700 in the Department of European Decorative Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Pedro M. P. Raposo is a historian of science and Curator and Director of Collections at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, where he oversees world-class collections of astronomical instruments, prints, and rare books.

Since 1999, Jennifer Farrell has operated Starshaped Press, with a focus on designing and letterpress printing custom commissions and limited edition prints and books. Studio work is focused on preserving the craft by printing with antique metal and wood type.

Materials List


  • Renaissance Invention: Stradanus's Nova Reperta, edited by Lia Markey. Northwestern University Press, 2020. ISBN: 978-0-8101-4202-2.

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first session of this seminar.

Registration Information

Online registration opens at 9 am (CDT) on Tuesday, September 1st.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars staff is working remotely and will be unable to process registration over the phone. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar has reached capacity. Please email to be added to the wait list.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.