Prendergast Library has an outstanding collection of late nineteenth-and early twentieth- century paintings in its permanent collection.
James Prendergast, the son of Alexander and Mary Prendergast, had expressed a wish to establish a free public library, and after his death, his mother dedicated herself to the building, furnishing, and opening of the Prendergast Library as a memorial to her son. Upon her death, she bequeathed $25,000 for the purchase of the art collection, which now hangs in the Fireplace Room, the reading room of the original library.
At the Front Desk, patrons may view or purchase copies of A Mirror up to Nature, a catalog created in 1984 to describe these paintings. Patrons may see the permanent collection if they attend a meeting or reception in the Fireplace Room or if they take a tour of the library.
Mrs. Prendergast also gave the family portraits painted by Daniel Huntington, the leading portrait painter of his time. These are displayed in the library itself.
Read more about the Permanent Collection on the New York Heritage Digital Collections website.