Art from the George Arents Collection on Tobacco

Collection History

This digital presentation offers a glimpse of the tobacco-related visual resources held by the George Arents Collection on Tobacco; it is inspired by a 1997-1998 exhibition, Tobacco Leaves: Selections from the Collection of George Arents, Jr., organized by Virginia Bartow, Curator of the George Arents Collection.


The George Arents Collection on Tobacco, the product of over one hundred years of collecting by George Arents and a succession of curators, is a comprehensive collection on the history, literature, and lore of tobacco. Over the years, the collection has grown to include books and manuscripts in more than twenty languages. Although the collection is devoted to tobacco and includes almost every important work dealing with the subject, it also contains many historical, literary, and artistic works in which tobacco appears only incidentally, such as the "Lilliputian" prints in this presentation.

Related Resources

Fletcher, H. George. "Indomitable Collector: George Arents, Jr. and The New York Public Library" Biblion: The Bulletin of The New York Public Library 9, no.1/2 (Fall 2000/Spring 2001) p.87-103

NYPL. "Dry Drunk: The Culture of Tobacco in 17th- and 18th-century Europe" (c1997). Organized by Elizabeth Wyckoff, Print Collection. <>

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