Blog—Source Material

Meme the Nova Reperta

Fidgette Spinnere

The Nova Reperta––a 16th-century set of engravings designed by Medici court artist Johannes Stradanus––celebrated the cutting-edge innovations that fueled economic development and social change in Renaissance Europe.

Featuring human figures interacting in various workplaces, from a printer’s studio to an armor-polishing workshop, the engravings show the mechanics of using Renaissance-era technology in great detail; and yet their themes––work, ingenuity, collaboration––are universal.

In other words, the Nova Reperta images are full of meme potential.

We invite you to download images from the Nova Reperta and turn them into memes that highlight our human attraction (or aversion) to new technology. After downloading an image, you can add text over it using a meme generator or your preferred design program or third-party app.

Tag @NewberryLibrary and use #MemeTheNovaReperta on your posts so we can feature your memes on the Newberry’s social channels.

And be sure to visit Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s “Nova Reperta,” now on view in our exhibition galleries through November 25.