Excerpt from Annual Reports of the Trustees of the Organization, From 1871 to 1894
The earlier annual reports of the Trustees of the Association being out of print, yet in' continual request by way of exchange with various libraries and institutions of learning in Europe and America, the Trustees have decided to reprint all the Annual Reports, up to the present time, for the purpose of complying with that demand.
The first suggestion of the desirability of founding in New York an institution like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, was broached at a fourth-of-july dinner of Americans in Paris, by the Hon. John Jay, then U. S. Minister to Austria. A letter was subsequently addressed to the Union League Club, by Ameri cans in Paris, recommending the formation and establishment of such an institution. Meanwhile Mr. Jay had come home and been elected president of the Union League Club; and the letter thus prompted by his suggestion came up for his own official notice. By him it was brought before the Club and referred to its Art Committee. Thus was initiated, by the Union League Club, the movement which resulted in the establishment of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A public meeting for consultation on this subject was held on the 23d day of November, 1869, at which a special committee of fifty was appointed. The number of this committee was after ward increased to one hundred and sixteen, and these gentlemen organized the association substantially as it exists at present.
On the 13th day of April, 1870, the Legislature of the State of New York granted an act of incorporation to this body by the name of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose of establishing and main taining in said city a museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of art to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and to that end, of furnishing pop ular instruction and recreation.
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