George Lucas, the famed creator of “Star Wars,” is also an art collector, and he has been looking for a home for his collection for the past decade. He considered sites in Chicago and San Francisco, but ran into difficulties in both places. A group in Chicago sued him, for example.
Lucas has now found a home for his Museum of Narrative Art, which will be built in the Exposition Park of Los Angeles. The project will cost at least $1 billion dollars, which Lucas will pay himself. Lucas hopes to begin building the museum this year and have it finished by 2020.
Lucas describes the project as a “barrier-free museum where artificial divisions between ‘high art’ and ‘popular art’ are absent. As such, it will include works by Pierre-Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas along with works by popular artists like Norman Rockwell.
The museum will also be a “classroom for the imagination” and include lecture halls, classrooms and theaters where visitors can learn about the creative process. Lucas also plans to offer workshops and after-school programs.
Lucas defines narrative art as “art that tells – or narrates – a story through imagery.” There are many ways to tell a story, like writing one or performing a play. The museum will emphasize visual arts like paintings and comics. It will also encourage people to think about the perspectives of both the creator and the audience.
Studying narrative art from the maker’s perspective will help visitors learn about the various techniques used in visual storytelling, while studying narrative art from the viewer’s perspective will teach visitors why certain images evoke the emotional and intellectual responses they do.
The museum is expected to divide Lucas’ collection into three groups: a collection devoted to art from various historical periods, a cinema section, and a digital section devoted to art produced with new technologies.