Chicago’s City Council Approves of George Lucas’ Proposed Art Museum

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art may open after all.

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George Lucas. Photo: © 2014 Patrick McMullan Company, Inc.

Chicago’s city council has voted in favor of approving Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas’s proposed art museum, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA), reports Reuters.

The filmmaker, who has been spotted at art fairs in the past, recently acquired five works by Chicago Pop artist Hebru Brantley, and his proposed museum will house his collection of movie memorabilia and art.

The road has been long for the LMNA, which Lucas originally hoped to build in San Francisco. When the city couldn’t provide his preferred construction site last May, Lucas’s wife, Chicago native Mellody Hobson, may have helped steer him toward her hometown. Los Angeles also threw its hat in the ring, making it a three-city fight, but Chicago ultimately prevailed in June 2014.

Even then, the institution was far from a done deal. In January, Lucas told the Los Angeles Times that “it’s still a possibility that Chicago will be unable to do it,” sparking speculation that the LMNA might wind up on the West Coast after all.

Chicago’s city council approval goes a long way toward making the museum a reality.

Rendering for the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Chicago. Photo: MAD Architects.

Rendering for the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Chicago.
Photo: MAD Architects.

Designs for the museum were unveiled by Beijing-based architectural firm MAD Architects this past November. According to Reuters, the plans have since been modified to address the concerns of Chicago Bears fans, who had opposed the loss of a parking lot popular for tailgating.

Despite clearing this latest hurdle, the museum’s opening is still likely years away.

In the meantime, fans of Lucas’s Star Wars looking forward to the release the next film in the series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on December 18, have one art show to look forward to: “Art Awakens,” an exhibition of Lucas approved fan art at Los Angeles’s Gallery 1988.

Art Awakens fan art submission based on the poster for the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photo: Lucasfilm.

Art Awakens fan art submission based on the poster for the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Image: Courtesy of Lucasfilm.

The LMNA will house Lucas’s collection of movie memorabilia and art. The filmmaker, who has been spotted at art fairs in the past, recently acquiredfive works by Chicago Pop artist Hebru Brantley.

While progress is clearly being made, the road is still not entirely clear for the LMNA. A lawsuit filed this past year by a parks protection grouplooking to block the project is still ongoing.


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