George Lucas. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
George Lucas. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Los Angeles was chosen Tuesday as the new home of “Star Wars” filmmaker George Lucas’ $1 billion dollar Museum of Narrative Art, with the museum’s board of directors selecting Exposition Park over a competing bid from San Francisco.

The museum will house works by painters such as Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renior; illustrations, comic art and photography by artists such as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth; as well as storyboards, props and other items from popular films, all in an effort to create a “barrier-free museum” where “artificial divisions between `high’ art and `popular’ art are absent,” according to the museum’s website.

Lucas is best known for creating the “Star Wars” film franchise, producing the “Indiana Jones” franchise and founding Industrial Light & Magic, a visual effects company.

“We have been humbled by the overwhelmingly positive support we received from both San Francisco and Los  Angeles during our selection process,” according to a statement from the board. “Settling on a location proved to be an extremely difficult decision precisely because of the desirability of both sites and cities.”

Board members thanked officials from both cities, but said the South Los Angeles Promise Zone in which Exposition park sits “best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging and educating a broad and diverse visitorship.

Exposition Park is a magnet for the region and accessible from all parts of the city. As a museum uniquely focused on narrative art, we look forward to becoming part of a dynamic museum community, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country’s leading universities as well as three other world-class museums.”

The museum will house works by painters such as Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renior; illustrations, comic art and photography by artists such as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth; as well as storyboards, props and other items from popular films, all in an effort to create a “barrier-free museum” where “artificial divisions between `high’ art and `popular’ art are absent,” according to the museum’s website.

Lucas is best known for creating the “Star Wars” film franchise, producing the “Indiana Jones” franchise and founding Industrial Light & Magic, a visual effects company.

The filmmaker has connections to both Los Angeles and San Francisco. He has been a longtime resident of the Bay Area, where Industrial Light & Magic is located, and attended film school at USC, which is adjacent to Exposition Park. In 2015, he donated $10 million to his alma mater.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hailed the selection, saying visitors to the museum “will enjoy an extraordinary collection anchored in storytelling – – an art that carries so much meaning in the history and legacy of Los Angeles.”

“L.A. is gaining a new jewel in with the breathtaking Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and its presence here means that a day at Exposition Park will soon bring unrivaled opportunities to be immersed in stories told on canvas and celluloid, be moved by the richness of African-American history and expression, be awed by the wonders of science and the natural world, take a journey to the world of space exploration and sit in the stands for a world-class sporting event.”

Councilman Curren Price, who represents Exposition Park, said the $1 billion museum “will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, educational opportunities for families, college students and educators, increased tourism and economic growth for South L.A. and the city as a whole.”

“The museum will benefit the entire community, helping to inspire the next generation of artists, makers and storytellers,” Price said. “Thank you, George Lucas for this blockbuster of a gift, and for giving the new 9th (council district) a real-life Hollywood story.”

–Staff and Wire Reports 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.