After narrowing the search to two California cities, Star Wars creator George Lucas has chosen Los Angeles over San Francisco as the future home of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, it was announced on Tuesday.
The futuristic-looking museum, with a rendering that could have come from a storyboard for one of his sci-fi films, will be built in L.A.’s Exhibition Park and, according to its website, will be “a one-of-a-kind gathering place to experience collections, films and exhibitions dedicated to the power of visual storytelling and the evolution of art and moving images.”
The museum, with a design by Chinese architect Ma Yansong, will be a first of its kind and “challenge the way you think about museums,” boasts a page dedicated to explaining its mission.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Lucas, 72, will fund the project to the tune of about $1 billion, including building costs, his art and an endowment of at least $400 million.
The Times said that Lucas has spent about 10 years trying to erect a museum for his art collection, which consists of about 10,000 paintings and illustrations including works by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and R. Crumb, along with Hollywood memorabilia from films such as “Star Wars” and “The Ten Commandments.”
The seven-acre project, near the University of Southern California, is expected to create thousands of construction jobs as well as translate to hundreds of permanent museum jobs and tourism dollars.
“It feels like this incredible gift has come home. I always thought Los Angeles was the natural place to spread the vision of George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, to make art and creativity accessible and inspirational to the next generation,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in the Times of the filmmaker and his wife. “It’s a natural place to have this museum in the creative capital of the world and in the geographic center of the city. It’s a banner day for L.A.”
In a quote on the museum website, Lucas called narrative “one of the oldest and most important impulses in art” and said it is “the most popular form of art.” He said, “Tracing the arc of narrative art reveals how culture is created, reinforced, and then compelled to evolve.”