The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is a new museum, scheduled to open in Chicago in 2018, that will house a collection of art owned by film director George Lucas.
The collection and the museum are dedicated to art that, like film, is narrative in some way, telling stories whether overtly or by suggestion. This includes a number of works from history that would be considered museum paintings, as well as illustration, comics and concept art.
The museum has a website with a bit on information about the proposed museum building and the collection. The site features work from the collection in various categories. If you click through the initial images of individual works, there are nice sized enlargements.
Most of the art is to be found in the sub-sections under “Narrative Art“, but there is also artwork under the sections for “Digital Art” and “Art of Cinema (mostly under “Set Design“).
There are some great pieces here by a terrific range of painters, illustrators, comics artists and concept artists (though fewer of the latter than might be expected.)
The physical museum itself is apparently the focus of some controversy in Chicago, in regard to both its design and location, but I can’t fault Lucas for his taste in art.
(Images above, with links to my posts: Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Norman Rockwell, Charles Dana Gibson, Edward Henry Potthast, Harrison Cady, Frank Frazetta, George Herriman, John Berkey, Arthur Rackham, N.C. Wyeth, William de Leftwich Dodge, Walt Kelly, Jean “Moebius” Giraud, Winsor McCay, Dough Chiang)
7 Replies to “Lucas Museum of Narrative Art”
I have been following your blog for a couple of years now, and I have to say, I thoroughly agree agree; Mr. Lucas has a great eye. Thanks, by the way, for bringing some great ‘eye candy’ our way. I make it a point to stop by every morning.
Thanks, Lori. I’ll do my best to keep the eye candy coming.
I look forward to this. Right now only a small portion is shown on the site so I will be interested to see what else Lucas collected over the years (like the Syd Meads for Blade Runner!).
Citing the article on the Atlantic and the critics of the museum, mostly some comments, as well as the article’s on Chicago Reader by Deanna Isaacs calling it a vanity project. Oh, I could go on and on but I always find the criticism both amusing and tiresome.
It’s the same old argument about illustration and ‘the like’ not being considered art, real art, high art… whatever.
Art history is loaded with these same arguments, art that in its time was not considered ‘real art’ but is now and sits in museum’s the same critics (might?) visit themselves and accept as art.
They forget that much art, maybe even most art, from history was actually created on commission, for commercial purposes, for books, for educational purposes, propaganda, for satire, caricature and political purposes, and the press (Daumier), for the mere entertainment of its day long before movies, the adornment of walls, for advertising theater shows (Toulouse-Lautrec posters) etc.
Art that was created for a purpose other than some kind of “Purity of Expression” or reverence. Some was even created for the pure simple pleasure of creating, without some conceptual-supposed-to-spark-discussion purpose.
And some, dare I say… for mere titillation! Noooo, really?
Not all of it was created for religious purposes or bound for some museum. It was a profession like it is today and artists were making a living out of it.
I’ll bet those critics don’t even know the difference.
I guess it takes years for ‘art to mature’ like wine or cheese before being considered ART by those gnat critics.
These critics don’t have to like it (get over yourselves already) or visit the museum, what do they care?
Frankly, they should not visit the museum, they’ll just be one more body in my line of site ; ).
Agreed, the collection looks really interesting. The painful part of all this for me is that Lucas was set to build this in San Francisco (my neighborhood) in the historic Presidio, but in a classic case of short-sightedness, it was rejected in favor of…well, actually, nothing. There were two competing proposals, and the National Park Service (who owns the land) put the entire thing on hold, effectively driving Lucas into Chicago’s waiting arms. One thing Lucas seemed to take from the whole bruising experience is not to be timid about architecture. One reason people objected to his project here is that the architecture was deemed by some to be stodgy and retro. Not something you could accuse these designs of. So of course in Chicago he’s being blasted for weird futuristic architecture. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard for a person with a fabulous art collection to give it for free to a city….
I think the idea of ‘art for art’s sake” meaning “pure” art without other intention or use, or the inclusion of narrative elements, is a poison vine that took root (along with so many others) in the mid 20th century.
If it was a sports stadium, they’d be falling all over themselves to throw tax beaks and free land at it.
Thanks Charley, for the fabulous selection of images – it must have been difficult to choose, but you have done well :)
It`s all wonderful, wonderful work – I will never see the actual museum, but with art of this quality and sheer brilliance, it`s going to be quite something,
whatever the building that finally houses it.
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