George Lucas Proposes Museum in San Francisco

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  • SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — “Star Wars” creator George Lucas wants to build a museum dedicated to visual storytelling in San Francisco’s Presidio that would house an art collection he amassed over more than four decades.

    The filmmaker said he has long sought to showcase his collection of 150 years of populist art, which includes illustrations by Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish, comics and digital technology.

    Lucas, 69, said he doesn’t have enough wall space at his 6,000-acre Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, so he wants to invest up to $300 million of his own money to build the museum.

    “At this scale, there’s nothing that has ever been done like this,” he said in a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Lucas submitted a 20-page proposal to the Presidio Trust last week, one of 16 bids to occupy the former commissary site at Crissy Field, the newspaper reported.

    Lucas’ obsession with visual art began when he was a child and would visit the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park.

    He grew up in Modesto, where his family owned an office supply store and a walnut farm, but Lucas dreamed of being an illustrator. He loved adventure books and the era’s popular magazines, which often featured Rockwell covers.

    His art collection began with his first acquisition, an Uncle Scrooge comic book page by Carl Barks, for which Lucas said he paid $25.

    “As a popular artist, I hit the same chord with people that Rockwell hit, that Michelangelo hit, that the people who painted on caves in France hit,” Lucas said. “I relate to art more as an emotional experience than as an intellectual experience.”

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