George Lucas is not only a famous filmmaker; he is also a philanthropist. With his wife, Mellody Hobson, Lucas has conceived a museum in Los Angeles: “the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art”. Due to open in 2023, it will strengthen Los Angeles’s appeal among world travellers.
Originally planned for the city of Chicago with an opening slated for 2020, the museum is finally being built in Los Angeles. Construction broke ground back in 2018. The structure is located in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park.
Like many other infrastructure around the world, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts is also a victim of the Covid pandemic. Its opening has been delayed twice – from 2020 to 2021, and now to 2023.
What will be found inside Lucas Museum of Narrative Art? The museum will present exhibitions for diverse public audiences that will bring together mass-produced images with more traditional art forms to reveal how visual storytelling is imbued with the richness and complexity of the world. The collection will be extremely eclectic.
An eclectic art collection in a building reminiscent of a spaceship
The museum collection also continues to grow, from a collection by Lucas and Hobson that ranges widely from 16th-century paintings to impressionist works as well to contemporary art. It includes a very large collection of visual art pieces from the cinema to comics. Renoir is likely to be confronted to Blade Runner or Darth Vader. The museum’s focus on narrative art will highlight the power of images and how they function in society and influence them.
Art pieces in this new collection will be organised into three main categories: narrative art, film art, and digital art. Narrative art is “visual art that tells a story”, explains the museum’s curator. The curatorial team will look to create exhibitions that are intersectional and inclusive of a variety of experiences.
“This is the first museum of its kind, with an unprecedented collection that showcases fine and popular art from illustration to comics, the creative process of filmmaking and the immense potential of the digital medium. We are not just another museum. The Lucas Museum will be a museum without barriers, where artificial divisions between ‘noble’ and ‘popular’ art will be absent, allowing a wide range of visual narrative to be explored. Visitors who might be less inclined to visit a traditional art museum will be invited to interact with our works that relate to art forms they recognise and enjoy,” explained Lucas in an interview with an art magazine.
Not only will the collection be a main focus, but the building itself is likely to turn into Los Angeles’s newest iconic piece of architecture. Designed by renowned architect Ma Yansong , the museum is reminiscent of a space ship, with its white façades and smooth curves. Located inside a huge garden, it will feature expansive galleries, state-of-the-art cinematic theatres, numerous dedicated spaces for learning and engagement, new public green spaces, restaurants, retail, and event spaces.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is likely to drag many new visitors to Los Angeles. The Californian metropolis will thus confirm its role as one of the most important cultural hubs in the Americas.