Family Art To Hang On Library Walls Again

Left, James Prendergast, founder of Jamestown, and Alexander Thomas Prendergast, James Prendergast's son, are two of the Prendergast family paintings now hanging on the walls in the James Prendergast Library's Fireplace Room. People can view the oil paintings of the Prendergast family during Doors Open Jamestown Saturday. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Once again visitors to the James Prendergast Library will be able to see oil paintings hanging on the walls of the Fireplace Room.

Following the library board of trustees meeting Thursday, Tina Scott, library executive director, said visitors during Doors Open Jamestown Saturday will be able to see oil paintings of the Prendergast family and other art work hanging in the Fireplace Room. This is the first time paintings have been hanging on the walls of the Fireplace Room since the library board approved a resolution cosigning the bulk of the art collection to Sotheby’s in June of last year.

“I want people to know,” Scott said about artwork hanging in the library again. “I don’t think people have ever been able to see some of these paintings before.”

Some of the Prendergast family paintings include one of James Prendergast, founder of Jamestown and namesake of the library’s grandfather; Alexander Thomas Prendergast, son of James Prendergast and namesake of the library’s father; Mary A. Norton Prendergast, library founder and mother to the library’s namesake; Prendergast family judges; and drawings done by F. W. Beers for the 1881 Atlas of Chautauqua County. There is also a photo of James Prendergast, library’s namesake.

Throughout the two year process of deciding whether or not to sell the oil paintings purchased following the death of library founder Mary Prendergast in 1889, who left $25,000 to the executor of her will to purchase art for the building, the library board said they would not sell any of the Prendergast family portraits.

A drawing by F.W. Beers for the 1881 Atlas of Chautauqua County is now hanging with other drawings on the wall in the Fireplace Room of the James Prendergast Library, located at 509 Cherry St. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Doors Open Jamestown is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Doors Open features free admission to a number of area attractions, many of which will be offering special events or features on site. This year’s attractions are: Audubon Community Nature Center, Busti Grist Mill, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, Chautauqua Striders, Daughters of the American Revolution, Dykeman Young Gallery, Fenton History Center, Infinity Visual & Performing Arts, James Prendergast Public Library, Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, Martz-Kohl Observatory, Northwest Arena, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Robert H. Jackson Center, Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History and The Spire Theater.

Every attraction will have a giveaway that is free for all visitors to enter. Every giveaway includes a $20 Chamber of Commerce Gift Card and a variety of items from the various attractions including tickets to shows/events/admission, gift certificates, books, bird seed and apparel.

There is also an added giveaway that can be entered by making a purchase of at least $10 at any of the attractions listed above or any downtown Jamestown restaurant or retailer. The additional giveaway includes a one night stay at the new DoubleTree by Hilton on Fourth Street, a $50 Chamber of Commerce Gift Card, $50 to a downtown restaurant of one’s choice and $50 to a downtown retailer of one’s choice. To enter, either take a picture of a receipt clearly showing purchase amount and date (must be dated Jan. 20), and send the picture and the entrant’s name to; or stop by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s information tent at AIDS Memorial Park/Wood Park (East Third Street by Potters Alley) with the receipt before 5 p.m. the day of the event.

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce are the lead sponsors for this year’s event.