The era of mass production and distribution brought new uses and meanings for the transmission of visual narratives. Works created for mass reproduction point to the broad societal reach and impact of widely circulated objects from material culture as well as commercialized images. Additions to the museum’s extensive collection of original works created for comics, books, and magazines include Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon issue number 1 (1933), Jaime Hernandez’s alt comic Love and Rockets (2010), which he created over 40 years with his brothers Gilbert and Mario, and children’s book illustrations by Jerry Pinkney for Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story (1998) and Weshoyot Alvitre for At the Mountain’s Base (2019), her book about a Navajo World War II pilot. The addition of Kerry James Marshall’s RHYTHM MASTR Daily Strip (Runners) (2018) to the collection presents the artist’s response to the absence of black superheroes, characters, and environments in mainstream comics.
The 11-Acre Campus Comes to Life
At the center of the museum’s 11-acre campus is the innovative building designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects with Michael Siegel of Stantec as executive architect. Taking inspiration from large trees in Exposition Park, which provide places of shelter and gathering, Ma envisioned the building as an extension of that tree canopy, lifting at its center to create a gathering space in the central plaza. To realize the building’s organic, biomorphic surface, the structure will be clad in more than 1,500 curved fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) panels, each uniquely shaped and placed to create the whole. In a major construction milestone, installation has now begun of these panels, which are now being fitted onto the southern façade.
The Lucas Museum’s park and gardens, designed by Mia Lehrer of Studio-MLA, will provide an expansive, multilayered experience fully integrated with the building, which will be heavily programmed for museum audiences and the local community. The 11-acre museum campus replaces an asphalt parking lot and opens and activates Exposition Park’s western edge for the neighboring community by creating new access points into the park. In another milestone for the Lucas Museum, the first of more than 200 trees are now being put into the ground, which will change visually with the seasons, offering new experiences during each visit to the Lucas Museum. Whereas water runoff from the previous asphalt parking lot went into the city sewer system, the museum’s new landscaping uses a rain-harvesting system to capture water for irrigation. Other major architectural features of the park and gardens, including the amphitheater, hanging garden, and pedestrian bridge, are also now taking shape.
As a core element of its construction program, the Lucas Museum has worked closely with its contractor, Hathaway Dinwiddie, and the City of L.A. to set and meet ambitious goals for local hiring and for increasing the pipeline for subcontracting with businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans. Through robust community outreach efforts in partnership with Slate Z, L.A. Trade-Tech, the City of L.A., local unions, and other workforce development nonprofits, the building project to date has employed more than 4,200 workers, more than 60% of whom live in Los Angeles County.
About the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
As the first museum to focus exclusively on storytelling through images, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art believes that visual storytelling can connect us and help shape a more just society. With a growing collection that encompasses artworks from across cultures, places, times, and mediums, including paintings, sculptures, murals, photography, comic art, book and magazine illustrations, and the arts of filmmaking, the Lucas Museum will explore narrative art’s potential to prompt questions, invite opinions, inspire community, and move people to think about the impact of images on our world.
Co-founded by George Lucas and Mellody Hobson and led by director and CEO Sandra Jackson-Dumont, the Lucas Museum was designed by renowned architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects with Stantec as executive architect and will open in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park in 2025. An 11-acre campus with extensive new green space designed by Studio-MLA will embrace the museum’s 300,000-square-foot building, which will feature expansive galleries, two state-of-the-art theaters, and dedicated spaces for learning and engagement, dining, retail, and events.