George Lucas is well known for his love of Wookiees, droids, Stormtroopers and interstellar cantina scenes. He’s less known for his love of Norman Rockwell paintings and R. Crumb comics.
But according to The New York Times, we should probably get used to associating Lucas with the finer aspects of the art world, rather than just the intricacies of hairy humanoids from planet Kashyyyk. Why? Because the “Star Wars” creator is about to open a giant museum in Los Angeles that will house 10,000 paintings along with book and magazine illustrations.
After years of planning, the museum’s board of directors announced on Tuesday that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built in Los Angeles at a cost of $1 billion. After previous attempts to place his vision in Chicago and San Francisco ― both of which were met with some opposition ― the filmmaker has decided to open the Lucas Museum near the coastal city’s Exposition Park, a popular spot for art institutions.
”This is the first museum of its kind, with an unprecedented collection that features fine art and popular art from illustration to comics, an insider’s perspective on the cinematic creative process and the boundless potential of the digital medium,” reads a statement on the museum’s website. It continues:
The Lucas Museum will be a barrier free museum where artificial divisions between “high” art and “popular” art are absent, allowing you to explore a wide array of compelling visual storytelling. Visitors who might be less inclined to visit a traditional fine art museum will be invited to engage with and relate to art forms they recognize and love.
The collection includes works by Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, as well as illustrations, children’s art, comic art and photography from various periods. It will be housed in what’s been described by various press outlets as a “futuristic-looking” museum.
Is it surprising that a Hollywood icon like Lucas would want to open a museum dedicated to both “high” and “popular” art? Probably not. After all, famous cultural critic Camille Paglia once dubbed him “the greatest artist of our time.”
And yes, “Star Wars” fans, there will be some objects from your favorite galactic epic in the museum mix, too.