Of all the founding fathers of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Samuel P. Avery, an art dealer who began his career as a wood engraver, had the widest experience in the world of art. As the most successful importer of works of art for all types of American collectors, he learned to adapt his offerings to individual tastes and had the imagination to see that a great museum must have a great research library. Avery was instrumental in building the Museum's Library and donated numerous art books, including now-rare first editions of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century classics of art history as well as a collection of fine bookbindings. Avery's reputation helped the new museum attract the enthusiasm of influential people, friends, and associates during all thirty-five years that he was in its service. This scrapbook includes sixty-one print proofs and commercial wood engravings by Avery, as well as business cards, book and magazine illustrations, product labels and advertisements. The engravings are mounted on forty-eight leaves of colored paper and the scrapbook is bound in full red straight-grain morocco tooled in blind and gold.
Illustrated: engraving of Samuel P. Avery's trade card listing his location as "S. P. Avery, Engraver on Wood, 129 Fulton St. NY, NY"