George Lucas wants to build an art museum in San Francisco

A detail of Norman Rockwell's painting "Shadow Artist," which is in the personal collection of "Star Wars" filmmaker George Lucas.
(Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Will there be portraits of Jar-Jar Binks emerging from a half shell?

George Lucas, the producer of the “Star Wars” movies, is planning to build an art museum in San Francisco. The filmmaker told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday he hopes to create an institution that would be dedicated to exploring “cultural fantasy.”

“It’s my big project right now,” Lucas told CBS. “There’s a world of young people who need to be inspired.”

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Lucas is a big collector of art, though it’s not the kind of art that is likely to impress art critics. He is a big fan of Maxfield Parrish, the American painter who depicted lushly colored fantasy worlds. He is also a collector of Norman Rockwell and has a fondness for Rockwell paintings that depict that act of storytelling.

“You either look at the world through cynical eyes or through idealistic eyes,” the filmmaker said. “I don’t see anything wrong with having an idealistic, sentimental, fun point of view.”

Lucas said his museum will also celebrate digital design and animation from Hollywood blockbuster movies.

“CBS This Morning” noted that Lucas owns enough art “to rotate exhibits every six months for the next six years.” No dates or exact locations have been announced for his museum project.


Last year, Lucas sold his company LucasFilm to Disney for a reported $4.05 billion.

In 2010, Rockwell paintings owned by Lucas and director Steven Spielberg went on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in an exhibition titled “Telling Stories.”


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George Lucas’ and Steven Spielberg’s Norman Rockwell paintings go on show at Smithsonian American Art Museum