Star Wars creator George Lucas imagines San Francisco museum

Fri Mar 8, 2013 9:14am EST
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By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Filmmaker George Lucas, the creator of "Star Wars," has submitted a bid to build a "storytelling museum" in San Francisco to share his vast collection of contemporary paintings, illustrations and digital art.

Lucas has offered to construct the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum on federal land, run it and stock it with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of art by the likes of Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish.

"What he finds most fascinating in these artists is their ability to capture an emotion and tell an entire story in one image," Lucas spokesman David Perry told Reuters.

Lucas' proposal was one of 16 bids to create a cultural institution in a former commissary at the San Francisco Presidio, a 1,500-acre national park within the city created after the U.S. Army left the post in 1994.

Other proposals received last week by the Presidio Trust include a New Deal museum, a color museum, a global observatory, a center for the study of cities, an environmental center, a sustainability institute, an innovation center and a center for the history of the Golden Gate Bridge.

"We all know that George Lucas is a creative genius, and we're very pleased that he's one of the contenders," said Craig Middleton, executive director of the Presidio Trust.

He said the trust would examine the proposals and solicit public comment until April, when it would whittle down the competition and hold public hearings on the top bidders.

Lucas, 68, built the Letterman Digital Arts Center as the Presidio's first permanent business. The arts center is the combined home of Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts and Lucasfilm's marketing, online, and licensing units.   Continued...

Filmmaker and Chairman of the Board of Lucasfilm Ltd. George Lucas waits to do a television interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser