The Italian Art of the Souvenir During the Grand Tour | Newberry

The Italian Art of the Souvenir During the Grand Tour

Led by Alexis Culotta. 4 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Wednesdays, May 23 - June 13

2 - 4 pm

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (April 17 at 10 am – May 4 at 4 pm): $185
Regular Registration Price (May 4 at 4 pm – first day of class): $203.5

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Register Online

Excuse our dust!

The Newberry is undergoing an extensive first floor renovation in 2018. This project will be ongoing during the Summer 2018 seminar term. The Adult Education Seminars Program still has use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Summer 2018 term. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

From striking photographs to souvenir art objects, we all enjoy the act of commemorating a journey. This practice became particularly popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries during the peak years of the European Grand Tour. A travel opportunity designed by wealthy European families as a means to educate their younger generation in the history and culture of Europe, the Grand Tour drew aristocratic youths to all of Europe’s major metropolises. As a result, a new artistic market for elegant souvenirs emerged. This seminar illustrates this fascinating moment in history by combining travelogues and maps from the Newberry collection with some of the mementos from the Grand Tour in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. From travel journals to paintings to ivory plaques, these souvenirs signify both the popularity of the Grand Tour and the perpetual human desire to chronicle our experiences. Four sessions.

Alexis Culotta holds a PhD in art history from the University of Washington and is currently a lecturer of art history at the American Academy of Art, a lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Scholar in Residence at the Newberry Library.

Materials List


  • A course packet of additional materials, compiled by the instructor and available online or distributed on individual request in a print version during the first class (for which there will be a nominal fee due at that time).

First Reading:

  • For the first class, please read the handouts which will be sent upon registration, in the confirmation email.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.