Suzanne Karr Schmidt

Suzanne Karr Schmidt is the George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Newberry. Her book, Interactive and Sculptural Printmaking in the Renaissance, appeared with Brill in 2017. She last wrote for Fine Books & Collections in 2011 about Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life, an exhibition she curated at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Our society’s fascination with cellphones and other distracting novelties was not born in the current Internet Age, but started with astrolabes and other scientific instruments in the Renaissance. These early technologies inspired the artists and writers who founded the humanities in the first place. What inventions did they think were vital for them to survive and for the arts to