Library Board To Auction One More Painting; Accepts Two Other Offers

The James Prendergast Library Board of Trustees discusses the auctioning of another former James Prendergast Library oil painting later this year. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

There is one more former James Prendergast Library oil painting still to be sold at auction.

On Thursday, the library board approved the sale of the last of its former oil paintings to be auctioned by Sotheby’s either in April or early May. The painting is by F.A. Ramsay and is titled the “Farmyard.” Tina Scott, library executive director, said the painting is expected to sell for between $1,000 to $1,500.

Scott also told the library board that two post-auction offers have been accepted from the last auction held earlier this month. The two paintings that did not sell during a Feb. 1 auction were Charles Victor Thirion’s “Paysanne De La Creuse,” which had a sales estimate of $25,000 to $35,000, and Johan Mari Henri Ten Kate’s “Behind The Ramparts,” which had a sales estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. Library officials accepted a post-auction offer of $16,000 for Thirion’s painting and $10,000 for Kate’s artwork.

The library board approved consigning 44 paintings to Sotheby’s in June 2017 to be auctioned. So far seven auctions have been held with Sotheby’s hosting four and Stair Galleries participating in three. Scott said, prior to Feb. 1’s auction, the library had received $851,050 in revenue from the oil painting auctions. With the total sales price of the four paintings auctioned earlier this month totaling $137,500, the former library paintings have sold for a total of $988,550. Proceeds from the art auctions will go toward the library’s endowment fund.

The oil paintings were originally purchased following the death of library founder Mary Prendergast in 1889. Prendergast left $25,000 to the executor of her will to purchase art for the library.

In other library business, the board accepted two new members — Frank Corati and Mike Corey. Lynn Warner, library board vice president, said the goal is for there to be 11 members of the board. Now with the two additional members, the board has a total of 10. Warner said the boards Nominating Committee is scheduled to interview Lori Fabritius in March and if things work out the board will reach their membership goal.

The library board of trustees guidelines state that the board should have between 7 to 15 members.