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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles

Laura Puttkamer
Los Angeles

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is currently under construction in Los Angeles and will open in 2025. Following the design of Ma Yansong of MAD Architects with Stantec as the executive architect, Star Wars creator George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson founded the institution. 

George Lucas and Mellody Hobson founded the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to connect the art of storytelling with a more just society. Rendering: Lucas Museum

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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is currently under construction in Los Angeles and will open in 2025. Following the design of Ma Yansong of MAD Architects with Stantec as the executive architect, Star Wars creator George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson founded the institution. 

Connecting the art of storytelling with a more just society

In 2025, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is set to open, while it is currently under construction. Along with Stantec as the executive architect renowned architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects conceived the building with a size of almost 28,000 square metres. Consequently, the Lucas Museum will be a new major addition to Los Angeles’s Exposition Park, welcoming visitors on a large campus with extensive green spaces by Mia Lehrer of Studio-MLA. While about a third of the Museum’s space consists of galleries, there will also be two theatres and spaces for learning, dining, and events.

The new Lucas Museum in Los Angeles is set to open in 2025. Rendering: Lucas Museum

A monumental steel framework

Currently, construction workers place the exterior panels on the steel frame of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Obviously, the building takes its name from its co-founder and the Star Wars creator, George Lucas. It will be the first museum that MAD is building in the United States. The large trees in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park influenced the design, while they simultaneously provide a space for sheltering and gathering.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art: A museum like a spaceship

The building’s design took shape as an extension of that canopy of trees, creating a place of gathering in its central plaza. At the same time, the building resembles a futuristic spaceship landing on the site’s natural environment. And without a doubt – though not the design intent – it ties in nicely with Lucas’ cinematic opus.

The museum was co-founded by George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, businesswoman and wife of George Lucas. Director and CEO Sandra Jackson-Dumont leads it in the approach of connecting the art of storytelling and a more just society.

It is no coincidence that the shape of the Lucas Museum resembles a spaceship - the founder is Star Wars creator George Lucas. Rendering: Lucas Museum

Exploring the potential of narrative art

The Lucas Museum’s exterior biomorphic sculptural form continues into the expansive interior lobbies which have organic, curved walls. Meanwhile, the museum’s collection includes artworks from across cultures, places, times, and mediums that focus on the art of visual storytelling. It consists of paintings, sculptures, murals, photography, comic art, book and magazine illustrations, and the arts of filmmaking. Besides to that, Lucas also donated the Lucasfilm Archive to the museum. But the curatorial staff acquired the majority of the Museum’s collection through acquisition funds that the founders provided.

The biomorphic sculptural form of the Lucas Museum continues into the interior lobbies. Image copyright: Lucas Museum (rendering)

Narrative storytelling in pictures at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

According to its website, “as the first museum to focus exclusively on storytelling through images, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art™ believes that visual storytelling can connect us and help shape a more just society”. Currently, the collection is growing. It already includes artworks from many different cultures, places and times. The Lucas Museum wants to explore the potential of narrative art to prompt questions, invite opinions, inspire community. Also the institution gets people to think about the impact of images on our world.

The park outside the first floor and roof will be public areas for visitors to relax and experience nature in the urban environment.

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An organically designed outdoor area is also part of the Lucas Museum concept. Renderings: © Lucas Museum
The retreat area for visitors is not limited to the rest of the property.

The power couple behind the scenes: George Lucas and Mellody Hobson

For George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, collecting art is a shared passion. The couple got married in 2013. Before, Hobson collected mostly African American works with pieces by artists such as Kara Walker, Gary Simmons, and Norman Lewis. Lucas has collected American art and popular illustrative, comic, cinematic, and animation art over four decades. And together, the couple started an assembly of their collections based on shared interests.

As the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, George Lucas himself contributed to the art of narrative storytelling. His characters and stories are some of the most popular ones in contemporary global culture. With his visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic, he revolutionised the film industry.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art: From hobby to institution

In 1991, Lucas took a philanthropic interest in applying his expertise in storytelling and visual effects to the classroom: His George Lucas Educational Foundation offers a free source of information as well as learning strategies and in order transformed education. For the new Museum, the couple has pledged a seed collection and the entire Lucasfilm production archive. And also, Lucas and Hobson provided extensive funds for the acquisition of new art.

 

Another iconic sight in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Sign – did you know it turned 100 this year?

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