Sunday, November 24, 2013

Will George Lucas get the green light to build his Lucas Cultural Arts Museum at San Francisco's Presidium ?

The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum is the big project of George Lucas. The museum will be located at San Francisco's Presidium a few yards from the Walt Disney Family museum and will offer unprecedented educational opportunities for young people and families with a mission: to teach the history of storytelling. Here is how Georges Lucas himself presents the project:

"I'm a storyteller at heart, and I understand the power of a visual image to tell a story. I know how works of art can ignite children's imaginations and even change their lives. They changed mine.

Even before I could verbalize what I was feeling, I was drawn in by Norman Rockwell's ability to tell a complete story in a single image. And so much of that imagery captured American cultural truths and aspirations. It was then that I began to learn the art of visual storytelling. As my career as a filmmaker grew, so did my love of art and passion for collecting.

The Bay Area has always been home to forward-thinkers and artistic innovators-people who push to do things that haven't been done before. Men like Eadweard Muybridge, Philo Farnsworth and Steve Jobs. Companies like Pixar, Adobe, and Facebook. There's a history of invention here that's as exciting as it is infectious. That's one of the reasons why I'm here, why I raised my family here, and why I chose to start my own business here. It's also why I chose this remarkable region for a new museum.

I want to create a gathering place where children, parents, and grandparents can experience everything from the great illustrators such as Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish, to comic art and children's book illustrations along with exhibitions of fashion, cinematic arts, and digital art. The Bay Area was the birthplace of digital arts three decades ago.

The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will be a center highlighting populist art from some of the great illustrators of the last 150 years through today's digital art used to create animated and live-action movies, visual effects, props and sketches. They're all united by their ability to capture our shared cultural story-from Rockwell's pencil sketches to computer generated moving images. More than just exhibiting illustration and technological innovation, this cross-section of art can help to describe and define our culture-its past, present, and future. It provides a unique way to see what's emotionally important to us as a society and how we communicate those feelings without words. The best way to truly understand art is to experience it."

The building itself would have a faux Beaux Arts style with an estimated $700-million price tag and here are some digital renderings of it showing it on different angles as well as the view that visitors will have on the Golden Gate bridge .

You can learn more about this big project, and what will be displayed in it, on the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum website HERE  as well as how, in addition to its permanent collection, the Museum will provide gallery space for such traveling exhibitions as "Star Wars Identities", but he main question seems to be currently: Will George Lucas get the green light to build his museum at San Francisco Presidium ? According to a L.A Times article "officials at the famous site are pushing back, having asked the "Star Wars" creator and other competing projects to rethink their designs before a decision is made... On Thursday, the board of directors of the Presidio Trust met to decide on proposals for developing an eight-acre site across from Crissy Field. Among the proposals vying for physical space is Lucas' art museum as well as  a proposed science-themed center and a mixed-use complex from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. "In the interest of having the best project possible for the Presidio, we want to provide one more opportunity for teams to adjust their proposals before we make a selection," said the board in an announcement released on Thursday."

Although "The board didn't specifically mention Lucas' proposed art museum, which would be called the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum. But the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Presidio board Chairwoman Nancy Bechtle recently met with the newspaper's editorial board during which she expressed reservations about the museum's design. Bechtle described the design for the museum as "too big" and having an "inappropriate configuration."

So, we'll see what happen, but last September George Lucas made waves when he announced that Chicago could be "his kind of town" and that he would take the museum to Chicago if it were to be rejected in San Francisco...

In the meantime have a look at this video in which George describe the project. More videos, including one in which John Lasseter defends the project are available HERE.

Pictures and video: copyright  Lucas Cultural Arts Museum

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