JAMESTOWN – A group of concerned city residents are calling on the Prendergast Library to preserve its historic art collection rather than sell it.
Library officials are currently looking into the possibility of selling some of the classic artwork in its collection. According to library officials, the collection consists of mainly European artists with some American works mixed in. Much of the collection was donated or willed to the library by local residents, including the Prendergast family, during the past 100+years.
Library officials feel that it would be expensive and time-consuming to properly preserve and protect the artwork. As a result, they will most likely auction off the a large portion of artwork so that it can go to a collector or another public institution that has the resources necessary for long-term preservation.
Not everyone supports the possibility of auctioning off pieces in the collection. An online petition has been created calling on the city of Jamestown and mayor Sam Teresi to intervene. While the city does not have any direct control over the operation of the library, it does allocate a portion of funding for the library each year.
So far the petition, which can be found at Change.org, has garnered more than 60 signatures.
The issue of auctioning the artwork has been discussed on a regular basis during the library board’s regular meetings and will likely be brought up again during the library’s next board meeting, which is scheduled to take place at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17.
The meeting will take place in the fireplace room of the library – where much of the artwork is on display – and is open to the public.