When the first curator of graphic arts, Elmer Adler (1884-1962), left Princeton University in 1955, he accepted an invitation from Teodoro Moscoso to visit Puerto Rico. Adler was enchanted and quickly moved to Old San Juan, where he opened La Casa del Libro. With the support of a group of local residents, they formed a non-profit organization Amigos de Calle del Cristo 255, Inc., to operate the La Casa as a museum and library dedicated to the art of the book.
Adler began La Casa with his personal collection of illuminated manuscripts, incunables, and contemporary fine press books. New acquisitions were also made, along with a series of public exhibitions, printmaking classes, and many other events. Together with his protégé David Jackson McWilliams, Adler lived and worked in Puerto Rico for the last seven years of his life.
La Casa del Libro remains at 255 Calle del Cristo today, under the direction of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, which owns La Casa’s two buildings. Unfortunately, the doors have been closed recently, awaiting repairs and renovations. For information, see http://www.lacasadellibro.org/