Maria Avinova came from the ancient noble family of Novosiltsev. Together with her mother, she founded in her estate a handmade lace industry Kadomskiy Veniz. New Venetian-style laces were popular among the Russian high society and abroad. Russian lacemakers often imitated ornamental prints found in the noble estate.

Maria was married to Nikolay Nikolayevich Avinov (1881–1937), son of the General Nikolay Avinov and grandson of the famous Russian naval officer Aleksandr Avinov (1786–1854); prior to the Revolution Nikolay Avinov was a well-known local and political leader. In 1937 he was arrested and shot. In 1938 Maria Avinova was also arrested; she was found not guilty and just evicted from Moscow.

During the World War II, Avinova found herself in the territory occupied by Nazi forces and managed to escape to France. When France was liberated, she moved to the United States where the relatives of her husband lived. In USA, she actively participated in the activities of the Russian community, in the Church charity, published a literary and artistic almanac U zolotykh vorot (‘At the Golden Gate’). She died in 1975 and was buried in New York.

Families Novosiltsev and Avinov possessed many items of artistic value. Unfortunately, in December 1917 the Novosiltsev Estate was burned and a largest part of the collection perished in fire. In 1920s the family had to sell the remnants of the collection to feed itself.

In 1928, the Museum of Fine Arts bought 120 prints from Maria Avinova, including works by German, Italian, French and Dutch artists. The most valuable part of the German section was consisted of ten Dürer woodcut prints dated 1510–1511, the best period of his work. They included four (of six created by Dürer) decorative woodcut prints known as Knots.