Los Angeles Confirmed As Site For New George Lucas Museum


Word was released earlier this week that Los Angeles will be the location of the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

Beijing design studio MAD was appointed to create the concept for the attraction, which will be built in Exposition Park, near the Natural History Museum and Coliseum.

According to the museum’s Board of Directors, Los Angeles’s Exposition Park best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling their goal of “inspiring, engaging and educating a broad and diverse visitorship”.

George Lucas Museum, Los Angeles, MAD

About the museum
Founded by the man himself, George Lucas, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is the first museum of its kind. It features a collection of fine art and popular art from illustration to comics, an insider’s perspective on the cinematic creative process and the boundless potential of the digital medium.

Lucas designed the idea of the museum around smashing barriers that may exist between “high” art and “popular” art. Visitors who might be less inclined to visit a traditional fine art museum will be invited to engage with and relate to art forms they recognise and love.

The non-profit museum will be a place to experience collections, films and exhibitions dedicated to the power of visual storytelling and the evolution of art and moving images. The museum will present original work by world renowned and emerging artists, cutting-edge digital technologies, and daily film screenings in state-of-the-art theaters, as well as educational opportunities for students of all ages.

According to the website, the museum already consists of:

  • Traditional paintings by Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, as well as a broad range of original works in popular mediums such as illustration, children’s art, comic art and photography from many periods and cultures
  • Major holdings including a large number of works by Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and N.C. Wyeth
  • An in-depth exploration of all facets of cinematic art and its design processes, including original concept art, storyboards, set design, props, costume and fashion, animation and visual effects
  • “Ground-breaking” digital technologies and media used by artists in cinema and other art forms
  • An expansive art and cinematic research library (print and digital).

About the design


reported that MAD Principal Ma Yansong envisioned the building as a “sinuous volume, with tapered edges that lift the galleries off the ground, allowing space for pedestrians to walk underneath.”

The museum’s interior will consist of approximately 100,000 square feet, or around 9,000 square metres, of galleries.

On top, the museum’s roof will provide public spaces by incorporating plant and tree-covered terraces, while on the bottom approximately 1,800 vehicles will be accommodated for with an underground car park.

Lucas is expected to pump around $1 billion into the project, and is anticipated to create thousands of new jobs for the city. The museum board claims the building will become "one of the most imaginative and inclusive art museums in the world".
The road to LA
Lucas’ museum was originally going to be based in Chicago, but the process did not go smoothly. At first, the initial design and location proposal was vilified, and even after amending the design into a slimmer looking structure, the museum’s board decided to up-root the project and search for a new location.

George Lucas Museum, Chicago, MAD

The 'slimmed down' version of Chicago's Lucas Museum of Narrative ArtThey set their sights on California, and MAD developed separate designs for two different locations – Los Angeles and San Francisco.

George Lucas Museum, San Fran Sisco, MAD

MAD's design for San Fran Sisco's Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

After much deliberation, in 2017 the museum’s board settled on LA for the site, saying Exposition Park is a magnet for the region and accessible from all parts of the city.  LA Mayor Eric Garcettin was excited about the decision, telling Dezeen, George Lucas' private collection, including art and memorabilia from the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies – carries "so much meaning in the history and legacy of Los Angeles".

MAD revealed that a project spokesperson said groundbreaking is planned before year’s end with the opening targeted for 2021.

Images courtesy of MAD.

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