George Lucas has finally found a home for “The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art” in Exposition Park in Los Angeles. After two prior attempts to put the museum in Lucas and his wife’s respective home towns of San Fransisco and Chicago and being denied by both cities, the couple has managed to secure a location for their newest venture near Lucas’ Alma-mater University of Southern California.
The final approval came this week with a unanimous 14-0 vote on environmental impact reports and other paperwork which needed to be approved for building to begin. Before that unanimous vote, George Lucas himself decided to address the city council, explaining to them why he had chosen Los Angeles when the museum was not welcomed in his home town.
“For a very brief time I actually grew up here. That’s where I learned movies. That’s where I learned my craft. Basically where I started my career was in school here.”
The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, also addressed the city council prior to their vote – thanking Lucas for the “vision of creativity” and for wanting to inspire new generations to continue creating and going after their dreams. Between these two it seems that the city council was entirely convinced to allow the museum to be built.
While normally a museum would be something that was paid for by tax payers that will not be the case with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, as George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson will be funding the entire $1.5 million project. They intend to break ground later in 2018 – but the five story 300,000 square foot museum isn’t expected to be open to the public until 2021. Designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects, the impressive building is described as “spaceship-like.”
The museum is going to feature many different types of narrative story telling, from children’s books by authors like Beatrix Potter and Frank Adams, paintings from famous artists like Edgar Degas, as well as a large dedication to film. They will feature sets, storyboards, props, and more from classics like Casablanca and The Wizard of Oz, as well as almost everything imaginable from Star Wars (such as Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber and Vader’s original costume).
Star Wars won’t be the only Lucas film to see a space in the museum either, as his collaboration with Stephen Spielberg, Indiana Jones will also find a home in the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Along with all these sets, storyboards and other types of narrative art the museum will also include educational labs, classrooms and a research library for the public s well as students. It will also feature a cafe and restaurant, and a museum store.
The idea behind the museum is to encourage new generations to create, to dream big and to see that storytelling and art is not only entertainment but a part of life. The museum will show the evolution from cave paintings to digital art and much more, and will be geared towards the younger generations in hopes of inspiring them.
[Featured Image by David Livingston/Getty Images for AFI]