The Gilroy City Council this week agreed to give former Mayor Roberta Hughan an oil portrait, in connection with a house cleaning effort at the Wiley Cultural Center.
The painting had been done by local Gilroy artist Carol Peters in 2007. Hughan asked the city if she could have the painting, at the same time that the council was looking at disposing of a number of paintings and old furniture that had accumulated at the Gilroy Museum over the years.
“I’m going to give it one of my sons, in San Francisco,” a smiling and grateful Hughan said outside of the Council chambers on Monday.
The former mayor was the city’s first elected female council member, in 1977, and served as Gilroy’s first and only female mayor from 1983 to 1991. A professional architect, now retired, she said she is concerned about the threats to the environment by President Trump’s policies and actions.
The council also voted to “deaccession” another seven paintings, 17 pieces of furniture and an antique radio, which never fit the mission of the Gilroy Museum. It has not been decided whether these pieces would be donated or auctioned off.
The furniture, donated to the museum in 1997, includes mostly 19th-century pieces, but none with any local Gilroy historical value.
The paintings had been donated to the city in 1981 by the late W. Robert Morgan, a Gilroy lawyer, and some were hanging at the Wiley Center and others stored in the museum basement. Morgan’s family agreed to the city’s new plan to sell or donate the paintings.
The 55-year-old museum adopted its first donations policy in 2000, to ensure that future gifts would related to documentation of the city’s history.
The museum is staffed by a team of 26 volunteers, and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to 5pm and the first Saturday of the month, 10am to 2pm. Admission is free.
For more information, visit cityofgilroy.org/386/Museum.