She said Bass Coast was honoured to house such a rare art collection and wanted to give it the respect it deserves.
The collection includes 606 works of art, ranging from the mid-19th century goldfield inspired commentaries of S T Gill, which were the subject of a recent book and major exhibition at the State Library of Victoria, to a significant collection of mid-20th century works by the respected social realist artist Noel Counihan.
Counihan visited the State Coal Mine at Wonthaggi during the war and made many drawings of miners which were later developed into a famous series of linocuts. The shire owns The Miners, a folio of six linocuts, independently of the Robert Smith collection.
The council currently exhibits its own art collection of over 100 works, mostly sourced from local artists from the annual Your Art Collection awards, in council-owned buildings around the shire.
Cr Rothfield said that, with considerable upgrades, both buildings could become wonderful exhibition spaces allowing the community to enjoy the works. Appropriate sites for the collection will need to have specific hanging and exhibition requirements, climate control, security, access, amenities and lighting plans developed.
Councillors this week resolved to consider funding masterplans for the two buildings in the 2017-18 budget process.