Samuel Putnam Avery Collection

Collection History

Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) was a New York-based art dealer and collector. In 1900, he donated his collection of prints to The New York Public Library in order to establish a Department of Prints, the first public print collection in New York City. This collection of nearly 18,000 prints, representing 978 artists, is especially rich in holdings of French printmakers, but also includes works by English, American, Spanish, German, Dutch and Belgian artists. At Avery's request, many of the artists inscribed their prints, which frequently appear in multiple, including rare or unique, impressions.

Related Resources

The New York Public Library. A Handbook of the S.P. Avery Collection of Prints and Art Books in the New York Public Library (1901)

NYPL "The Samuel Putnam Avery Collection" <http://www.nypl.org/locations/tid/36/node/29594>

Collection Data

Description
Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) was a New York-based art dealer and collector. In 1900, he donated his collection of prints to The New York Public Library in order to establish a Department of Prints, the first public print collection in New York City. This collection of nearly 18,000 prints, representing 978 artists, is especially rich in holdings of French printmakers, but also includes works by English, American, Spanish, German, Dutch and Belgian artists. At Avery's request, many of the artists inscribed their prints, which frequently appear in multiple, including rare or unique, impressions. The bulk of the prints are from the 19th century, but 16th, 17th, 18th, and early 20th centuries are represented to varying degrees. The collection includes a sub-collection of prints by female artists. The Avery collection is arranged by artist's name. Among the French artists, the collection is particularly strong in etchings by Adolphe Appian, Félix Bracquemond, Félix Buhot, Leopold Flameng, Charles Jacque, Jules Jacquemart, Charles Méryon, A. P. Martial, and Paul Adolphe Rajon. Also included are clichés-verre by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Charles-François Daubigny, Jean-François Millet, and Théodore Rousseau, and an important group of etchings and lithographs by Edouard Manet. The English prints include a large number of etchings by Sir Francis Seymour Haden and a set of J.M.W. Turner's Liber Studiorum. Among Avery's strong holdings of the prints of Francisco Goya is a set of fine early impressions of the Caprichos, purchased from the collection of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Among American artists are major groups of prints by James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Mary Cassatt. Early lithographs in the collection include works by Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, as well as works by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Wilhelm Reuter, Pierre Nolasque Bergeret, Thomas Barker of Bath, and many others.
Names
Avery, Samuel Putnam, 1822-1904 (Collector)
Avery, Samuel Putnam, 1822-1904 (Donor)
Library locations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection
Genres
Prints
Drawings
Photographs
Ephemera
Physical Description
Etchings
Lithographs
Type of Resource
Still image
Identifiers
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 8d08f9f0-c60b-012f-0c69-58d385a7bc34
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