George Lucas Museum Gets Approval From Los Angeles City Council

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George Lucas Museum Gets Approval From Los Angeles City Council

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An artist rendering shows the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to be built in Exposition Park in Los Angeles.

An artist rendering shows the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to be built in Exposition Park in Los Angeles.


Photo:

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art/Reuters

LOS ANGELES— The City Council here formally endorsed a plan to allow “Star Wars” creator

George Lucas

to build his long-planned art museum, the expected finale to a saga that stretched from Chicago to San Francisco.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday morning to green light the $1.2 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in a neighborhood near his alma mater, the University of Southern California.

The museum will display his art collection—an eclectic mix of popular and fine art, containing works from Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and R. Crumb—as well as artwork from popular films, including his own.

“Star Wars” devotees will be able to see original concept art and props including the first lightsaber used by Luke Skywalker.

In addition to creating the “Star Wars” franchise, Mr. Lucas has directed culturally formative films including “American Graffiti” and is the creator of the Indiana Jones series.

Mr. Lucas announced in January that he would build the museum in Los Angeles, after previously considering Chicago and San Francisco.

Mr. Lucas and his wife,

Mellody Hobson,

appeared in person at City Hall Tuesday to celebrate the moment—and endure a universe of “Star Wars” puns.

“A long time ago in a city not so far away, two people had a dream for a museum, and we said from the beginning that the force was very strong here in Los Angeles,” Los Angeles Mayor

Eric Garcetti

said at a news conference after the vote.

Mr. Lucas and Ms. Hobson, an investor and former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation, will foot the bill including construction costs and a $400 million endowment for museum operations.

The couple will also donate over 20,000 pieces of art and film memorabilia, said

Don Bacigalupi,

the museum’s president.

“We’ve come here to join the other museums in Los Angeles, to be a partner in making Los Angeles a museum city,” Mr. Lucas said. “The goal of the museum is to…inspire people to think outside the box, to imagine whatever you want to imagine.”

Los Angeles’s museum scene has already been rapidly expanding from a foundation that includes world-renowned institutions like the Getty and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Broad opened in downtown in 2015, featuring the vast collection of

Eli Broad,

and a slate of new museums are on the horizon or recently opened.

Construction of the Lucas museum will begin early 2018 and is expected to open in 2021, Mr. Bacigalupi said.

The 275,000-square-foot structure will stand on two legs above 11 acres of garden space converted from the asphalt there now.

“When George and I got first married…he said to me, ‘Mellody, don’t spit in the ocean. Whatever you do, do it with scale,” Ms. Hobson said. “When we think of this museum, it’s not just a museum. It’s a place for not just students, children and adults, but schools and academics and people from all over the world to learn.”

Write to Covey E. Son at covey.son@dowjones.com

By | 2017-06-28T03:44:48+00:00 June 27th, 2017|0 Comments

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