Event—Public Programming

Pop-Up Books through the Ages: Exhibition Close-Up

Pull back the curtain—or rather, lift the flap—to learn all about Pop-Up Books through the Ages.

The "pop-up" Pinocchio, 1932. Engineered by Harold B. Lentz. Call number: Case PZ8.C7 Po 1932

This program will be held in-person at the Newberry and livestreamed on Zoom. The online version of this event will be live captioned. Please register below.

Go deeper into the Newberry exhibition Pop-Up Books through the Ages, which traces the extensive history of movable books. Learn how the art, science, and business of pop-up books evolved over hundreds of years.

In addition to exploring the past, the exhibition highlights the present and future of pop-up books, including the work of contemporary book and paper artists who are pushing the form in new directions. Two of these artists, Hannah Batsel and Shawn Sheehy, will be in conversation with curator Suzanne Karr Schmidt and art historian Juliet Sperling about all things pop-ups.

This program is being held in conjunction with the Newberry exhibition Pop-Up Books through the Agesgenerously supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Professor James H. Marrow and Dr. Emily Rose, Alan Templeton, Diane and Richard Weinberg, and The Movable Book Society. 


Suzanne Karr Schmidt is the Newberry’s George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and curator of the exhibition, Pop-Up Books through the Ages.

Juliet Sperling holds the Kollar Endowed Chair in American Art at the University of Washington. Her research and teaching interests concentrate on the art and material culture of North America, from colonial settlement to the mid-20th century; the theories and objects of media studies; and the construction of categories of race, ethnicity, and difference in visual culture.

Hannah Batsel is a book artist, writer, and illustrator based in Chicago. Her handmade artist book work, in addition to her picture book, A is for Another Rabbit, can be found in library and museum collections around the country.

Shawn Sheehy is a Chicago-based paper engineer, book artist, and workshop instructor.

Cost and Registration

This program is free and open to all. Advance registration required.

In-Person Registration

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Past Public Programs

Check out video recordings of past Newberry public programs on our YouTube channel.



Pop-Up Books through the Ages

Mar 21–Jul 15, 2023

Pop-up books have a longer history than you might think. For centuries, books with interactive flaps, dials, and other moving parts have captivated readers of all ages. 

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