Star Wars’ Creator George Lucas to Open Museum in Chicago

Jun 25, 2014 6:11 am

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Benoit Tessier  / Reuters

Star Wars is already a proven draw at exhibits. Here performers dressed as Imperial Stormtroopers characters pose in front of a model of character Yoda from the Star Wars film series during press day for the exhibit "Star Wars Identities" at the "Cite du Cinema" movie studios in Saint-Denis, near Paris. Benoit Tessier / Reuters

Chicago has been selected by “Star Wars” filmmaker George Lucas as the home of his “storytelling museum” that will feature the director’s collection of paintings, illustrations and digital art, Lucas and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Tuesday.

Chicago beat out San Francisco and Los Angeles as host city for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA), which will present the history and evolution of the visual images.

“George Lucas has revolutionized the art of storytelling over the last four decades and we are honored to be the recipient of this incredible legacy investment that will allow everyone to learn about and experience narrative arts,” Emanuel said in a statement.

“No other museum like this exists in the world, making it a tremendous educational, cultural and job creation asset for all Chicagoans, as well as an unparalleled draw for international tourists,” he added.

The museum will feature valuable artworks by the likes of Normal Rockwell, John Tenniel and Maxfield Parrish. The museum’s board will vote on Wednesday to approve Chicago as the its new home.

“We are honored to be partnering with the city of Chicago and the many cultural, educational and community groups that have come forward with ideas about how the LMNA will add to their vibrant work,” Lucas said in a statement.

Lucas had originally intended for the museum to be in San Francisco, but the proposal was rejected by a trust that governs the land it was intended to be on.

“Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in San Francisco,” said Lucas, whose wife, Mellody Hobson, is from Chicago.

The museum said it selected its site near Chicago’s Soldier Field because its accessibility to public transportation as well as its central location.

Architectural plans will be submitted to the city in early fall, the museum said.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy, David Gregorio and Bernard Orr)

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