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Lucas Museum: “Star Wars” Creator’s Dream Anchors at Exposition Park

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Photo: Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Aimed at providing an unearthly and futuristic experience to the visitors, billionaire filmmaker and the creator of “Star WarsGeorge Lucas announced that the Lucas Museum of Narrative art will be located at L.A.’s Exposition Park. Through “an epic act of generosity and altruism,” the renowned filmmaker offered to build this gigantic 275,000-square-foot museum for free and endow a gift of $1.5 billion of which $400 million will be in cash. Lucas has been trying for three years to finalize the location for this monumental architectural project and selected lake-side Chicago downtown only to be rejected by the residents. To host this iconic cultural center that would generate millions in revenue, both Los Angeles and San Francisco have been competing and Los Angeles with its already famed art-friendly atmosphere won the bid.

Exposition Park, L.A. Harbors Lucas Museum:

Exposition Park is already home to several great museums and cultural centers. Located just across the street from the University of Southern California, which is Lucas’ Alma mater, Exposition park is quintessentially an urban cultural center that hosts the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center, and the California African American Museum. Exposition Park is bounded by Figueroa Street to the east, Martin Luther King Boulevard to the south, Vermont Avenue to the west, and Exposition Boulevard to the north.  The tripartite ownership of the seven-acre location —the County, the City, and the State—has transformed it into a heaven for artists and art lovers. Easily accessible by public transport, Exposition Park connects with all the nearby stations by Metro Expo Line light rail as well as Metro Silver Line rapid transit bus service. Lucas Museum will be ultimate jewel in the crown that Exposition Park already treasures. Certainly the Lucas Museum will further expand the art museum landscape in greater L.A., which has become a global hot spot for art production.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Concept Design of Lucas Museum

Lucas Museum: An Unworldly Experience!

Lucas Museum will be totally different from most museums as it will house both popular art and art-forms along with fine arts. The museum’s barrier-free collection strategy emerges from Lucas’s own view on art. George Lucas is not only a talented film director, he is also a curator with a collection of numerous art-works and paintings. Lucas has been following the unprecedented shifts in the creation, dissemination, and evaluation of modern art and found that the very process of creating art is missing from the grand narrative on art. Art’s primary focus was story telling from which it has digressed, and in the digression many important things like the very background and intricate process behind the creation of an art-work is lost. Lucas, thus, made up his mind to erect a museum unique in its approach to art. Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is the result of Lucas’ intention to break down all barriers between high and low art. The inherent elitism associated with paintings and museums will be non-existent in Lucas Museum where viewers will find world-famous art-works framed beside children’s cartoons. Lucas himself will donate his personal collection which consists of about 10,000 paintings and illustrations including works by Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and R. Crumb, along with Hollywood memorabilia from films such as “Star Wars” and “The Ten Commandments.”

Narrative Art and Lucas Museum:

Don’t get it wrong: Lucas Museum will not be a “Star Wars” museum! Certainly the museum will harbor the Star Wars memorabilia, but at the same time it will curate items selected broadly on three themes: the history of narrative art, the art of cinema, and digital art. So, what is “Narrative Art”? As Don Bacigalupi, Founding President of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, tells: “Narrative art is visual art that tells a story. It manifests itself in every kind of medium, in every culture, in every form that you can imagine.” Storytelling—which can take numerous forms like oral, written, visual—is the ultimate objective of any art-work, be it a Victorian novel or a Da-Vinci painting. Narrative arts tell stories through images and ignites emotion or sparks imagination. Being in the Lucas Museum will empower the visitors with an insight not only into the arts but also the artists’ creative process. Lucas Museum’s aim in reinstating the function of art in telling stories is central to arts from across all cultures and all times.

Lucas Museum, More Than a Museum:

The award-winning architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects will design this billion-dollar architectural landmark which is expected to welcome visitors sometime in 2021. Other than displaying art-works and showcasing Hollywood memorabilia, Lucas Museum will host regular public lectures and offer classes on numerous topics, and many other additional educational programs.

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About the author

Sayeed Noman

Sayeed Noman is a Fulbright scholar and an adjunct professor at Temple University. His PhD dissertation focuses on Afrocentricity, postcolonialism, and postmodernism. His interest ranges from political to economic and cultural issues.

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