After a long search for a home, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has found one: Los Angeles. In earlier rounds, some cities, notably Chicago, actively turned down the proposal. In the final round, which also included San Francisco, organizers chose Los Angeles since the museum would impact the area more positively than it would have in the proposed area in San Francisco.
The label “narrative art” reflects the nature of Lucas’ collection, which focuses on items that tell a story. Without a doubt, Star Wars memorabilia and artwork will feature strongly in the museum. But the collection will extend to everything from comic book art and Mad magazine covers to paintings and photographs from over the centuries. The museum’s curators will attempt to blur the boundaries between highbrow and lowbrow art.
The museum will represent an estimated investment of $1.5 billion, which will include the construction costs, the artwork, and an endowment. Lucas is paying for the museum on his own, which made it an attractive offer for many cities. The Los Angeles Exposition Park eventually won out, possibly in part because it already houses three other major museums.
Architects plan to complete the sleek, contoured building, which is reminiscent of something out of Cloud City, by 2020. In addition to being near the Metro line, it will come equipped with parking spaces for 1,800 vehicles. The galleries will be located on an elevated terrace, leaving room for people to walk below. Construction will begin later this year.