If Los Angeles is eager to be identified as a city of museums along with Washington, DC, Paris, and Málaga, Spain, this week brought good news. After nearly five years looking for a suitable location, the board of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) announced that the museum’s new home would be L.A.’s Exposition Park.
After considering both Chicago and San Francisco, the choice is a coup for L.A.. Mayor Eric Garcetti called it an “incredible gift.” In fact, it is a gift, the entire $1 billion project to be funded by Mr. Lucas and his family without cost to taxpayers.
Don’t get in line quite yet–a 2021 opening is anticipated–but the institution promises to be a valuable addition to the city’s eclectic collections. The fourth museum in Exposition Park (along with the California Science Center, the California African American Museum, and the Natural History Museum) LMNA is projected to look like something out of a George Lucas film–sleek and futuristic–and it would be unsurprising to see visitors ferried in by spaceship.
The museum is designed by MA Yansong, MAD Architects, who is known locally for his design of the greenery-clad condo/townhouse development 8600 Wilshire, now under construction. In addition to 90,000-100,000 square feet of gallery space, it will have an impressive range of amenities, including restaurants, theaters, lecture halls, classrooms, library, store, and an extensive variety of digital capabilities.
The collection, seeded by Lucas’s tremendous personal art holdings, will focus on narrative art, which, according to the LMNA website, “is visual art that tells a story. It manifests itself in every kind of medium, in every culture, in every form that you can imagine.” Along with plenty of Star Wars art, the museum will highlight the works of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and N.C. Wyeth, as well as works by Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. There will also be models, production stills, storyboards, costumes, and much, much more.
The future is on its way, and it will be landing in Exposition Park.