Regional development minister John Barilaro has today announced the NSW Government will contribute $250,000 towards the acquisition of the Hannah Cabinet, citing its valuable contribution to the visitor economy and recognising the high standard of craftsmanship by local master craftsman Geoff Hannah.
The cabinet, which is the result of years of detailed work by the Lismore resident, is currently on exhibition at the Lismore Regional Gallery.
The gallery’s fundraising committee is seeking to purchase the cabinet for the gallery and has so far collected some $360,000 towards the piece which is valued at more than $1 million.
The gallery offered ‘big thanks to Thomas George MP and [Lismore Nationals candidate] Austin Curtin for facilitating this, and to the fundraising committee in particular Gaela Hurford and Brian Henry,’ on its Facebook page.
It’s not immediately clear whether the grant money will be currently available or is contingent on the government’s re-election in March.
But not to be outdone, Lismore Labor candidate Janelle Saffin and shadow arts minister Walt Secord are also offering to match the Coalition government’s figure.
The cabinet’s maker, Geoff Hannah OAM was born and raised in the Northern Rivers. He started his own business in 1973.
On receiving a Churchill Fellowship in 1980 he travelled to France and England and studied furniture at the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The purchase of the cabinet for the permanent collection will be a first for Australia – never before has an iconic work of art been housed in the town where it was created by a local renowned master craftsman.