The new Lucas Museum plan looked very familiar to me when it was unveiled a few days ago--mainly because it looks just like my Apple router with a cocktail coaster on top. Not that I ever put a cocktail coaster on top of my Apple router.
A Chinese architect who seems like quite a lovely man came up with the idea of a white plastic mountain for the George Lucas museum, the museum that Tiny Dancer wants to be not only on the Chicago lakefront, but also the fourth museum of Chicago's famous Museum Campus. This is what you might call dumbing down to the max.
My daughter Molly and I saw the Star Wars collection several years ago when it was ensconced at the Museum of Science and Industry for several months. The day we went we were the only visitors in the large exhibit. It wasn't exactly overrun with people curious about Star Wars. I will admit, though, that we went on a weekday when crowds are smaller.
Truthfully, I wouldn't mind seeing 59 Norman Rockwells all in one place. But I would rather the one place be the Art Institute of Chicago. George, why not donate some dollars to the Art Institute, one of the greatest art museums in the world which is already up and running for 122 years--and ask that they devote a room to your Rockwell collection? Just like they did with Arthur Rubloff's paperweight collection.
Rockwells and Star Wars do not under any circumstances deserve to be ensconced in a fourth Museum Campus institution. Nor do they merit lakefront land. Or any land donated by the city. Lucas is a billionaire, and if he wants a museum, he should buy his own land.
I don't think 59 Norman Rockwells and Star Wars stuff is akin to the collections contained at the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum of Natural History--all three of which contain some of the finest museum collections on earth. Collections that define human existence. And the history of the world. R2-D2 they aren't.
Those three institutions also conduct cutting edge research on the campus and throughout the world. Compared to these three museums, the proposed Lucas Museum is positively ridiculous.
Friends of the Parks is ready to file suit the minute this thing becomes a done deal. They will waste their much needed resources. The City of Chicago will have to defend itself to the tune of big bucks spent on outside law firms--and will waste our city's much needed cash.
If the Lucas Museum does come to be a part of the Museum Campus, it will become Chicago's responsibility--and eligible for all the support the other museums at the Campus receive. Which is totally unfair. Changes to the traffic infrastructure around Lucas' ego-building museum would also be our problem and our responsibility. The Lucas Museum is undeserving of any help from taxpayers.
We don't need these headaches and these expenses, Chicago. San Francisco put its foot down and said "No!" to Lucas after four years of screwing around. Why is it Chicago's destiny to screw around with him now?
Please, George Lucas, go out and buy a nice big piece of land in Chicago. There's a lot around. Don't ask us for handouts. Don't bother us with lawsuits and architectural renderings that look like Apple routers with cocktail coasters on top. And don't push us into providing new traffic plans that inconvenience us. Leave us alone. Build your museum, run it--and let the people come to see your Rockwells and your Chewbaccas and your Jabbas. On your dime.
And may the force be with you….
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