Just what has George Lucas been up to since selling Lucasfilm to Disney back in 2012? Sure, the ‘Star Wars’ creator has surfaced in the media from time to time – often around the time a new installment of his legendary space opera is released – but for the most part, he’s maintained a somewhat lower profile. Despite that, the abundance of time that comes with semi-retirement has allowed Lucas to focus on philanthropic efforts and what might be described as “passion projects.”
One such project is the establishment of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which has been in development since 2013. The museum, which will be located in the Exposition Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, will be home to paintings, photography, cinematic art, digital art, and more, much of it drawn (at least initially) from Lucas’s personal collection. The sheer scope and variety that is promised are genuinely impressive, with its galleries and exhibition spaces set to feature everything from Norman Rockwell paintings to ‘Star Wars’ memorabilia. It will also host daily film screenings.
At this week’s groundbreaking ceremony for the 300,000 square foot space-age facility (seen an artist’s rendition above), Lucas made his first extended public remarks on the inspiration for the museum and his hopes for it:
“Yes, this is an art museum, but I’m trying to position it as an anthropological museum. In my feeling, popular art is an insight into a society and what they aspire to be; what they really want and what they really are – it is telling the narrative of their story, their history and their belief system.”
“Narrative art has always been popular. And I think the popular part of it is very important and that has a tendency to get lost in the hub-bub of the modern city. I believe all kinds of arts have a right to exist. I want to support all the orphaned arts that no one wants to see but that everyone loves. That is my dream for this.”
Construction of the museum is expected to take four years, with a plan to open in 2022.