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Movable Mayhem: Pop-Up Books through the Ages

July 7 @ 2:00 pm PDT

Sponsored by The Book Club of Washington

Prepare to be captivated by these print wonders that move. Volvelles, flaps, and pop-ups, oh my!

Renaissance pop-up book expert Suzanne Karr Schmidt will walk us through her most recent Newberry Library exhibition and related recent acquisitions, in a look at the long history of the movable book from the twelfth century to the present.

Register here for the virtual event: https://www.bookclubofwashington.org/events-1/movable-mayhem-pop-up-books-through-the-ages

Suzanne Karr Schmidt (PhD Yale) has been the George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Chicago’s Newberry Library since 2017, following eight years as a fellow and curator in Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is also currently serving as the Director of the Movable Book Society (www.movablebooksociety.org), an international organization for collectors, scholars, and makers of pop-up books founded in 1993.

A historian of early modern art, books, prints, and science, her monograph, Interactive and Sculptural Printmaking in the Renaissance, appeared in 2018. She publishes widely on hybridity and materiality in print, particularly on the “Renaissance Pop-Up Book.” Expanding her movable books range up to the present, she has most recently curated the playful Newberry exhibition, Pop-Up Books Through the Ages (2023), which examines this overlooked artform from the medieval to the modern era. A quick video tour of the exhibit can be found here.

Her previous prizewinning shows include her co-curated 2020 Newberry exhibition Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s Nova Reperta, and her 2011 Art Institute of Chicago exhibition Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life, both of which featured exhibition catalogues. Her next Newberry exhibition and catalogue, slated for fall 2026, will be on the topic of the ostentatious art of Printing on Fabric from the Renaissance to today.

Additional print resources:

An introduction to pop-up books written to accompany the 2023 exhibition: https://dcc.newberry.org/?p=21137

Her journal article “Flaps, Volvelles, and Vellum in Pre-Modern Movable Manuscript and Print” from 2022 which has some overlap with her presentation:



July 7
2:00 pm PDT