It’s been several years since it was announced that Los Angeles had been selected to house the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and according to a new report, the location is on track to open sometime in 2025.
What is the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art? The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is a museum founded by filmmaker and vfx pioneer George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, who is co-CEO of the asset management firm Ariel Investments. The site will host exhibits dedicated to all forms of visual storytelling, including painting, photography, sculpture, illustration, comic art, performance, and video. The building was designed by leading Chinese architect Ma Yansong and its gardens and parks were planned out by landscape architect Mia Lehrer.
Why is it significant? Los Angeles is quickly becoming home to a significant portion of the physical record of pop culture. With the recent opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the upcoming Lucas Museum, contemporary art forms are beginning to get the kind of treatment that has long been reserved for more traditional arts. According to Lucas, who’s footing the bill for the $1 billion facility, “Narrative art tells the story of a society—most importantly, what the common beliefs are that hold it together.” The museum promises to showcase everybody from Norman Rockwell to Robert Crumb.
What new details were in the new report? According to a story published by the New York Times, the museum is a logistical behemoth. The building’s outer shell will be constructed using more than 1,500 individually fabricated curved panels of fiberglass-reinforced polymer. Inside, it will have three starship-like curved-glass elevators, an elliptical oculus, a rooftop garden, and two 299-seat theaters. The foundation rests on 281 seismic base isolators to protect the building and its contents from future earthquakes.
What they’re saying: Lucas Museum director Sandra Jackson-Dumont says she knew the project would face hurdles along the way, but:
I am not frustrated. To open a building that is going to be a 200-year proposition, I think we should take a second to make sure we are getting things right — and getting it right when the entire world seems to be coming to pieces.
Michael Govan, the head of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, told the NYT:
It’s a very significant addition to the cultural scene of not just California but to the West Coast. You can start to feel the impact that such a huge gift is going to have. That’s the big deal. Since it’s not public money — whatever George wants to do he can do. It’s a beautiful thing and you can see it.
Pictured at top: A rendering of the finished facility from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art website.