Lucas Museum names a Met department chairman as its new director

Sandra Jackson-Dumont will take over in January as leader of George Lucas’s $1bn project in Los Angeles

Sandra Jackson-Dumont, who is currently the chairman of education snd public programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Rebecca Schear

Sandra Jackson-Dumont, who is currently the chairman of education snd public programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Rebecca Schear

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, now under construction in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, announced today that it had appointed Sandra Jackson-Dumont as its director and chief executive. Jackson-Dumont hails from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she has been the chairman of education and public programs since 2014.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to join an ambitious organisation at a crucial time in its founding and development,” Jackson-Dumont said in a statement. The museum, which will occupy 11 acres in the park, will house the personal collection of the filmmaker George Lucas, including original illustrations, paintings, comic art, photography and films, and plans to organise exhibitions with the goal of exploring narrative storytelling.

Overseeing a staff of 230, Jackson-Dumont will assume her post in January. Don Bacigalupi yielded the title of president earlier this year.

“Education is at the core of our mission, so it’s fitting that the director of the Lucas Museum be a deeply experienced museum educator,” said Mellody Hobson, a co-founder of the museum and joint chief executive and president of Ariel Investments. “Sandra has more than two decades of experience in the field, and we believe she is the leader who will help bring our vision of creating an inspiring and accessible museum to life.”

No firm opening date has been set for the 300,000-sq.-ft museum, on which construction began in March 2018. Designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects, the institution will encompass galleries, state-of-the-art movie theaters, a research library, event spaces, restaurants and shops. The project has been estimated at $1bn.

At the Met in New York, Jackson-Dumont oversaw public programs, community engagement and academic initiatives as well as live arts performances for diverse audiences. A San Francisco native, she previously served for eight years as the deputy director for education and public programs and adjunct curator in modern and contemporary art at the Seattle Art Museum. She has also held positions at the Studio Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

The Lucas Museum has had a somewhat fractious history. Lucas originally considered sites in Chicago and San Francisco for the project but encountered community resistance. Later San Francisco and Los Angeles vied to host the museum in a competition that ended with latter being chosen in early 2017.

A rendering of the future Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art