After years of shakiness, it seems Star Wars mastermind George Lucas has finally found a location for his museum: Exposition Park in Los Angeles. If you aren’t a Star Wars fan, don’t stop reading so quickly. Yes, The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will cater to its Star Wars devotees with rare memorabilia, but the museum will also tell a much larger story. It will house an impressive permanent collection and a mission that stresses accessibility of all types of art to all people.
By providing a look into the lineage of visual storytelling, the Museum aims, according to its website, to “house a collection that tells stories from many places and times… acknowledging that all visual art forms can make a meaningful connection with viewers.”
Though it seeks to actively expand, the museum’s permanent offerings will consist largely of the personal collection of Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson. To that point, a main theme that the museum’s website calls back to is that it will be a place where graphic novels will be put on the same playing field as the work of Rockwell and Warhol, all met with equal appreciation; where emerging artists and cutting edge technologies will sit with Degas and Renoir in perfect synergy. This presents the work on an accessible level for both art lovers and those who haven’t had much exposure, or connection, to museums – effectively introducing accessibility to art that many other high-brow institutions don’t provide. Another mission will be to provide free and affordable access to youth, including demonstrations, hands-on activities and more.
The collection will look at art through three lenses: History of Narrative Art, which showcases a wide range of traditional works from many periods and cultures; Cinema, which explores the processes of cinematic art and design (and cinemas for daily film screenings); and Digital Art, featuring new technologies and media.
The prospective for the building is pretty remarkable as well. Seriously. Look at this thing:
Designed by Ma Yansong of Beijing’s MAD Architects, it is a combination of chic and Star Wars-futuristic. It will take the place of two of the park’s parking lots, but accommodate up to 1,800 vehicles in an underground lot and enhance the locale with 6-7 acres of green space.
Lucas and Hobson will fund much of the museum themselves ($1 billion+), and the plan seems to have its community and visitors in mind, recognizing what an extraordinary economic driver the arts can truly be: the project will create an estimated 1,500 construction jobs, 350+ permanent jobs and will cost taxpayers nothing.
In a press conference earlier this week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti suggested that they may break ground as early as this year. He indicated that a launch is expected for 2020, teasing a potential May 4 (as in “may the fourth be with you”) opening date.
For more info, visit: lucasmuseum.org.