Chicago to be home for George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art’s building is designed by award-winning architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art’s building is designed by award-winning architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects.

The George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art – first announced last year – has been given the green light by Chicago’s City Council, which has approved revised plans for its design.

Construction will begin next year on the Museum, which joins an already impressive array of museums in the city, many of which I last had the chance to visit back in the 1990s and are already a credit to Chicago, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art.

A Star Wars X-Wing Fighter Design held by the Museum.

A Star Wars X-Wing Fighter Design held by the Museum. More information here

The aim of the Museum of Narrative Art is that it will be a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of moving images – from illustration to cinema to the digital media of the future. The first museum of its kind, its unique collection features popular art from illustration to comics, an insider’s perspective on the cinematic creative process, and the boundless potential of the digital medium – and will house Lucas’s private art and memorabilia collections, which includes Star Wars and Indiana Jones ephemera (obviously) as well as Norman Rockwell paintings.

The Museum’s web site already has a number of articles on children’s illustration, pin-up art and comics, the latter including work by Britain’s Carl Critchlow alongside the work of US creatiors such as Harold Foster, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and Little Nemo creator Winsor McCay.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art’s building is designed by award-winning architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects. Chicago-based VOA is the project’s architect of record. Studio Gang Architects and SCAPE Landscape Architects are designing the landscape.

“The Lucas Museum’s state-of-the-art facility will add to the rich legacy of architectural innovation in Chicago,” the project’s web site states. “Architect Ma Yansong envisions a spatial experience that responds to the lake, the cityscape and the sky. The path of visitor travel, the extraordinary shape of the building and its materials will inspire stories within the Museum.

“The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is honoured to stand alongside Chicago’s celebrated community of distinguished institutions on the lakeshore museum campus.”

In its report on latest developments, WIRED notes initial plans by Ma Yansong for the Museum ran into controversy, partly because of the futurist design, and partly because the building’s footprint, which would have highjacked space used for parking for Soldier Field, where the Chicago Bears play. New plans have axed 40 per cent of the original museum’s total footprint, and reduced the building’s square footage by 25 per cent, and the Bears and the Chicago Park District reached a deal over how game-day parking will work.

I am honoured and excited to be joining the Lucas Museum as its Founding President, and I look forward to working with George Lucas and the Board to bring to life an inspiring museum that will expand our awareness and appreciation of the central role of narrative art in our culture,” says Founding President Don Bacigalupi. “My hope is that the Lucas Museum will educate and engage millions of visitors of all ages and backgrounds to explore new creative frontiers. I’m eager to collaborate with Chicago’s many outstanding cultural institutions and organizations as we work to create an unprecedented cultural experience for residents and visitors alike.

• For more information about the new museum and its holdings visit www.lucasmuseum.org

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Art and Illustration, Comic Art, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions, Other Worlds, Star Wars

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