There have been many disputes about what city will win the honor of hosting the much-anticipated Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. It was announced last month that George Lucas will build his futuristic-looking museum at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. The board chose LA over San Francisco and Chicago, stating that Exposition Park in South Los Angeles “best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging and educating a broad and diverse visitorship. Exposition Park is a magnet for the region and accessible from all parts of the city.” The runner-up to Exposition Park was Treasure Island in San Francisco, which was said to create a two-city rivalry over who would be given the nod of approval.
It is anticipated that the museum will bring visitors from near and far to enjoy both Star Wars memorabilia, but also the extensive array of narrative art Lucas has collecting over the years. The museum will neighbor more traditional museums including the California Science Center, the California African American Museum and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
The filmmaker and entrepreneur has had plans to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art for nearly a decade. The project is completely self-financed, and has an estimated price tag of over $1 billion. The museum will house an extensive personal collection that includes 40,000 paintings, illustrations and film-related memorabilia.
Lucas, along with his wife Mellody Hobson, also chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation, has dreamed up a five-story, 312,000-square-foot museum. The outside of the museum is said to look like a space ship straight out of a “Star Wars” movie, which will draw in both Star Wars fans as well as architecture geeks.
The content of the museum focuses on what Lucas refers to as “narrative art.” Lucas has been quoted as saying, “Narrative is one of the oldest and most important impulses in art. It is also the most popular form of art. Tracing the arc of narrative art reveals how culture is created, reinforced, and then compelled to evolve.” His collection is wide-ranging, including things like illustrations, memorabilia from his “Star Wars” franchise and even paintings from masters like Monet, Degas and Renoir.
The project will create 1,500 new construction jobs and 350 new permanent jobs, all at no cost to the people of Los Angeles. Education will be a major focus at this new museum. Their goal is to offer affordable (and, in some cases, free) access to fun and educational opportunities for youth of all ages. This will include tours, talks, workshops and screenings that support the curriculum of students from grammar school to college.
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