one of the benefits of the lucas museum....beyond its impact on the city's cultural scene....is it finally resolves a problem I've long had with expo pk: eliminating that unappealing large parking lot sitting to the west of the coliseum & natural history museum since the beginning of time.
that has long made that area of LA not too hospitable...not a very good background or foreground, depending on where a person is standing....for events at the coliseum or when visiting the natural history museum. It didn't make for a very appealing view for ppl attending events at the coliseum when the olympics were held there back in 1984.
I originally thought the city wanted to locate the museum where the old sports arena had been located. So when that instead was reserved for the new soccer stadium, I thought ppl like eric garcetti may not have been keeping track of things correctly....
a museum in the southeast corner of the expo pk area also seemed like it would have bad feng shui to me. But the new stadium being there instead & now the new museum being in the northwest corner of expo pk seems right.
a writer based in britain makes a good point about one type of art museum & the type that george Lucas is interested in...
George Lucas's LA museum brings new hope to art's storytellers
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas was a gifted film director. The release of Star Wars in 1977 – long before we had to call it Part IV or A New Hope – was a seismic event in modern culture that abolished the difference between art and entertainment.
It was not a metaphysical allegory of the future but simply a good story. The point of setting it in the past in a remote part of the universe is that it has no relevance to reality here on Earth. It’s a tale, a legend, a myth. Lucas put aside every value except narrative excitement and identification with his characters. This was an epic yarn, pure and simple.
Now Lucas is to create, at his own huge expense, a museum in Los Angeles that not only shows off his collection of art along with relics from his films but makes an argument about art’s purpose.
When he praises narrative in art, Lucas clearly doesn’t mean a cathartic performance by Marina Abramović or a historically evocative film by William Kentridge. His collection of over 10,000 items stresses painters and graphic artists whose work is highly accessible. That master of folksy American scenes Norman Rockwell features among his treasures, as does the brilliant comic book art of Robert Crumb. Lucas also collects the work of NC Wyeth, who illustrated boy’s adventure books with exciting images of derring-do.
Put all this together with his Star Wars memorabilia and you have a museum that is likely to elicit scorn from art world snobs. Tate Modern or MoMA it ain’t. Instead, it’s an honest personal vision of what art should be like – and Lucas may be vindicated, just as he was when Star Wars entranced the world four decades ago.
He is right. Art has forgotten the power of popular storytelling that was once its main reason to exist. In previous ages the most important job of visual art was to tell tales. Painters and sculptors were commissioned to create compelling narrative art that was put in churches to move and harrow the whole community.
Paintings that told stories provided the cinema of the Romantic age. People queued up to see paintings like Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa or The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Delaroche. Today this instinct for gutsy, popular storytelling is exiled from the art world. Culturally respected art tends to be abstract or conceptual. Painters who tell stories, like Norman Rockwell, get faint praise at best.
A lot has been lost. The passion for narrative is universal. Why can’t visual art address the same need for a good story that is satisfied by Game of Thrones? Forty years ago George Lucas changed cinema. Perhaps now he can save art.
“This is a real triumph for the city of L.A., and this will be a transformative opportunity for L.A.,” Katzenberg said Tuesday after learning of Lucas’ decision. “First and foremost for our residents, who are going to have an outstanding cultural, iconic new force here — the force will be with us — and I think for tourism, and for the continued, extraordinary transformation of downtown Los Angeles, and for Exposition Park and the other museums it will be joining.”
Exposition Park could become the Central Park of Los Angeles, Garcetti said, adding that Lucas has expressed interest in helping to guide a master plan for the swiftly evolving area, already home to the California Science Center, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California African American Museum. Plans for the new museum, which will rise along Vermont Avenue on land now covered by parking lots, will include underground parking.
“We have a new football stadium being built, the Coliseum being redone with more than $200 million in upgrades, and the science center is building a whole new building to permanently house the space shuttle and its rockets,” Garcetti said, also noting the proximity to the Expo light rail line and bus lines. The Lucas Museum, he said, “will be the jewel in the crown.”
“There’s an understanding of L.A.’s growing cultural influence and growing and diverse audiences for museums here,” LACMA’s Govan said Tuesday. “We ended 2016 with over 1.5 million visitors.” He said the Lucas Museum will present visual culture from a different point of view, one that “makes so much sense in a city known equally for art and for film.”
Philanthropist and Broad museum founder Eli Broad called the Lucas Museum “one of the most important cultural and tourist additions to our city in the last 25 years.”
“I spoke to both George Lucas and Mellody personally about our great success at the Broad,” the philanthropist said. “We’ve had over 1 million visitors since we opened in 2015, and I’d expect the attendance at the Lucas Museum will be equal or even succeed that.”
a good time to say "thank you!" & dance