Presidio Trust officials have narrowed down their options for a new Crissy Field project and Marin resident and filmmaker George Lucas’ proposal for an art museum is one of the finalists.
The Star Wars creator said earlier this year he wants to open a San Francisco art museum to inspire the young. The museum would showcase many of the $1 billion artwork collection Lucas has acquired and celebrate digital design and animation.
The Presidio Trust received 16 proposals for the former commissary site at Crissy Field. This week officials narrowed down the selection to three: the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s Presidio Exchange and a “Bridge/Sustainability Institute” proposal for a cultural education center, according to the San Francisco Business Times.
The first two projects were the only ones that were discussed at a public meeting earlier this month, according to the Times, when locals either backed Lucas’ project — citing his track record in the Bay Area — or expressed concern he was using his celebrity status to win the bid.
The construction and endowment of the museum (to fund its running and maintenance) will be a gift from Lucas to the Bay Area, according to the project’s initial concept document.
In the initial concept document, which is attached at the right, Lucas describes his motivation for the museum:
I’m a storyteller at heart, and I understand the power of a visual image to tell a story. I know how works of art can ignite children’s imaginations and even change their lives. They changed mine.
Even before I could verbalize what I was feeling, I was drawn in by Norman Rockwell’s ability to tell a complete story in a single image. And so much of that imagery captured American cultural truths and aspirations. It was then that I began to learn the art of visual storytelling. As my career as a filmmaker grew, so did my love of art and passion for collecting.
The Bay Area has always been home to forward-thinkers and artistic innovators—people who push to do things that haven’t been done before. Men like Eadweard Muybridge, Philo Farnsworth and Steve Jobs. Companies like Pixar, Adobe, and Facebook. There’s a history of invention here that’s as exciting as it is infectious. That’s one of the reasons why I’m here, why I raised my family here, and why I chose to start my own business here. It’s also why I chose this remarkable region for a new museum.
I want to create a gathering place where children, parents, and grandparents can experience everything from the great illustrators such as Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish, to comic art and children’s book illustrations along with exhibitions of fashion, cinematic arts, and digital art. The Bay Area was the birthplace of digital arts three decades ago.
Details of the initial concepts for all three projects can be found here on the Presidio Trust website.
Project applicants now must submit formal proposals to the trust by September. The trust is also holding a public meeting on June 17 to hear public feedback about the projects. The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Observation Post at the Presidio, 211 Lincoln Boulevard.
In Marin, plans are moving forward to create a park with statues of Yoda and Indiana Jones in downtown San Anselmo on property Lucas, a San Anselmo resident, donated to the town's chamber.
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