Event—Public Programming

Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World

In this Meet the Author event, author Philip Hoare will be joined by printmaker and scholar Andrew Raftery and the Newberry's Suzanne Karr Schmidt for a conversation about the work of Albrecht Dürer.


This program will be held virtually on Zoom. Please register for free in advance here.

NOTE: You can also watch a live stream of the program on the Newberry Facebook page or YouTube channel.

1520 was a bad year for Albrecht Dürer. His patron, Maximilian the Holy Roman Emperor, had died, depriving him of a steady income and a ready source of artistic inspiration. To make matters worse, a plague struck, forcing the artist and his wife and daughter to travel across Europe. Moving west toward the coast, the artist heard about a beached whale in the Dutch province of Zeeland--a sea monster, washed ashore, waiting to be claimed, studied, captured by the hands of the artist. Dürer had found what he was looking for.

The incident is at the heart of Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World, a new book by Philip Hoare. Exploring the work of Dürer through a highly personal lens, Hoare’s book draws on history and the natural sciences to help us better understand the complicated interplay between art and reality in the artist’s work.

In this Meet the Author event, Hoare will be joined by printmaker and scholar Andrew Raftery and the Newberry's Suzanne Karr Schmidt for a conversation about Dürer and his work.

About the speakers:

Philip Hoare is the author of nine works of nonfiction including The Whale, which won the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction. He is co-curator of the online Moby-Dick and Ancient Mariner Big Reads, and is professor of creative writing at the University of Southampton.

Andrew Raftery is a printmaker specializing in narrative scenes of contemporary American life. Trained in painting and printmaking at Boston University and Yale, his work has been exhibited at Mary Ryan Gallery in New York and collected by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the British Museum. Focused on Burin engraving for the past 12 years, he recently completed a study of Dürer's practice as an engraver.

Suzanne Karr Schmidt is George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Newberry. Previously, she was Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she curated "Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life" and cataloged hundreds of Albrecht Dürer prints. In 2020, she co-curated the Newberry's exhibit "Renaissance Invention: Stradanus's Nova Reperta." She holds a PhD from Yale University.

This program is co-sponsored by the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry.

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