After countless years of planning, filmmaker George Lucas has finally found a home for his Museum of Narrative Art: Los Angeles, California. The museum will feature Lucas' personal collection of fine art, including Norman Rockwell paintings, MAD Magazine covers, photography, children's art, as well as Hollywood props and visual effects from his renowned movie franchise Star Wars.
Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, will be funding the project to the tune of $1 billion, which includes the futuristic building design, his art and an endowment of at least $400 million. The museum's website states, “Our collection features the original, artist-made creations, from sketches to storyboards to sets and costumes from movies.”
Plans are already in the works for lectures, movie screenings, workshops, and even school programs.
Back in 2009, Lucas set his sights on Chrissy Fields in San Francisco, but was nixed by the city’s Presidio Trust. He then aimed for Chicago, Hobson's hometown, but faced opposition from preservationists. Eventually, Lucas was being courted by city officials in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Instead of the Bay Area's Treasure Island, they chose to settle in LA's Exposition park - located near Lucas' alma mater, the University of Southern California.
“Exposition Park is a magnet for the region and accessible from all parts of the city. As a museum uniquely focused on narrative art, we look forward to becoming part of a dynamic museum community, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country's leading universities as well as three other world-class museums,” reads a statement from the board of directors for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
“Millions of Angelenos and visitors will enjoy an extraordinary collection anchored in storytelling — an art that carries so much meaning in the history and legacy of Los Angeles. LA is gaining a new jewel,” stated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Art historian Don Bacigalupi, former president and executive director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, will serve as president of the Lucas Museum. Although he and Lucas could still face community scrutiny, such as was encountered in San Francisco and Chicago, officials remain optimistic.
Groundbreaking is planned for the end of the year, shared a spokesperson, with the opening targeted for 2021.