George Lucas’s Art Museum May Be in LA After All

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

George Lucas’s Museum of Narrative Art may not be built in Chicago after a scourge of protests and lawsuits have made for a difficult path for the Star Wars and American Graffiti director’s cultural initiative.

The museum is slated to be constructed on a parking lot on the Chicago waterfront. But Chicagoans—and particularly fans of the Chicago Bears football team who use the parking lot to tailgate ahead of games as well as environmental groups—haven’t made that effort easy (see Opposition to George Lucas’s Chicago Museum Mounts and Chicago Bears Fans Vow to Stop George Lucas Museum).

“We still have to get through some lawsuits and things in Chicago,” Lucas told the LA Times. He added that, “It’s still a possibility that Chicago will be unable to do it,” referring to hosting the museum.

Lucas himself doesn’t mention specifically in the paper’s interview that LA would be his second choice for the institution. But the city did make a fervent, last minute push to convince Lucas to build his Lucas Museum of Narrative Art next to the University of Southern California, where he studied. San Francisco had also been a candidate (see George Lucas Snubs San Francisco, Picks Chicago for Art Museum).

In November, the director unveiled the design for his museum, created by Beijing-based architectural firm MAD Architects. The building is estimated to cost upwards of $300 million to construct and will open in 2018 (see Design for George Lucas’s Narrative Art Museum Unveiled). But the cost hasn’t stopped Lucas’s own collecting. Just before the holidays, he picked up a set of five Hebru Brantley sculptures (see George Lucas Adds Five Hebru Brantley Works to His Collection).

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