George Lucas tells a new story at the Museum of Narrative Art

Construction has launched on the $1bn non-profit project, built to be “the world’s most inclusive and accessible art museum”

Rendering of the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art courtesy of MAD Architects

The Star Wars creator George Lucas is moving on to his next storytelling adventure at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which broke ground yesterday (15 March) in South Los Angeles on its fittingly high-tech, 300,000 sq ft home designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects. The non-profit museum is due to open in 2021.

The $1bn institution, which Lucas co-founded with the businesswoman Mellody Hobson, his wife, will include collection galleries, exhibition spaces, two theatres for daily film screenings and education spaces. It sits in Exposition Park on what was formerly several parking lots, and will be surrounded by 11 acres of green space.

“Our goal is to create the world’s most inclusive and accessible art museum—a place that brings together people from every walk of life,” Hobson said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The museum, which touts itself as “a barrier free museum where artificial divisions between ‘high’ art and ‘popular’ art are absent”, has a collection based on a gift from Lucas that includes illustrations, comics and paintings by artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Winslow Homer and Norman Rockwell (whose Shuffleton’s Barbershop, which was recently sold by the beleaguered Berkshire Museum of Art to an unnamed non-profit museum, could be among the works).

At the groundbreaking, Lucas explained why the museum is specifically dedicated to narrative art: “Narrative art and storytelling stirs our emotions, shapes our aspirations as a society, and is the glue that binds us together around our common beliefs.”