2018-04-19 / Front Page

Callaway auction to include only limited, carefully selected items

A planned auction of items mainly at Callaway Plantation has been a topic of rumor and conversation for a few weeks already and some misconceptions abound.

Among the misconceptions are, “They’re selling everything, lock, stock, and barrel;” “Family treasures are going to be lost forever;” and “There’s going to be nothing left.” Those statements are not accurate.

A high level of care and scrutiny has been employed to determine which of the many items stored will be auctioned, and Washington’s Historic Properties Director Janet Parker has issued the following statement in hopes of clarifying the situation.

It is printed here in its entirety.

“On behalf of the Historic Properties of Washington, Georgia, I would like to wish you a happy spring and return to beautiful weather. Along with beautiful weather, spring is a season for growth and renewal. It is in this spirit that the City of Washington has planned an auction of a very limited and carefully selected group of items at Callaway Plantation. It is my duty and pleasure to share with you the goals of this sale, and process by which the items to be sold were chosen.

“Callaway Plantation’s Statement of Purpose is to educate and entertain visitors and local citizens as a living history museum, demonstrating how a pioneer family moved to a new frontier. Collection conservation is a key value guiding this work. Once an object in the collection no longer satisfies this statement of purpose, or becomes deteriorated beyond useful- ness, or is beyond Callaway’s means to properly care for or preserve, an assessment on whether it should remain in the collection must be made. Callaway’s collection policy guides this process. Per the policy, city staff makes recommendations to council for approval; this protocol has been followed throughout the project.

“The goal of this sale is twofold: to build a sustainable collection, and to fund site improvements at Callaway. The collection inventory has been carefully researched to ensure that no items original to the Callaway family or the property, no loans or donations, or any item unique to Washington will be sold. Most of what has been identified for the sale are items that have been in storage since the property opened to the public. By parting with the items that do not contribute meaningfully to Callaway’s collection, we will be better able to focus on and care for the items that do. We will be able to do more with less.

“All proceeds from this auction will be reinvested in Callaway Plantation and will not be used for general operating expenses. There are a number of exciting site improvements that sale proceeds will help to make a reality. The goal is the continued preservation of the site, structures, and collections, and to make Callaway an even bigger draw than it already is.

“The sale is tentatively set for Saturday, June 2. Should you have any thoughts or concerns about the sale, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 706-990-0000 or by email at museums@washingtonwilkes.org.”

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