MUSEUM HIGHLIGHT: Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

To many people, the idea of visiting museums filled with art is dull. While there are some very pretty pieces of art to admire, there are also rooms full of abstract expressionism that are dizzying, and minimalist works that are simply confusing. Enter the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. With a new approach to the offerings of a traditional museum, they aim to draw in crowds who want to see art they can easily understand and enjoy.

Key Features of Narrative Art:

Narrative Art is any art that tells a story, either as a single moment of an ongoing story or as a sequence of pieces that develop a storyline as they progress. The Lucas Museum says, “Narrative Art tells a story. It uses the power of the visual image to ignite imaginations, evoke emotions, and capture universal cultural truths and aspirations.” Unlike surrealist art which evokes a different response from each individual viewer, or realistic art which seeks to immortalize a specific individual in a static state, narrative art seeks to tell or remind viewers of a story.

Meaning of Narrative Art:

Unlike many art forms which rely on the viewer’s interpretation of the piece to show meaning, narrative art is much more obvious.  Images allow the telling of a story through visual imagery, which can evoke feelings and emotions through attachment to the characters portrayed. From children learning the first fairy tales to political propaganda on posters, using art to connect people to events is a powerful way to spread a lasting message.

Historical Development:

Narrative Art has been around for as long as humans have used art to tell a story. From cave paintings depicting a bison hunt to intricate, ephemeral drawings using sand, using visual cues to engage interest and attention is a part of the human condition. For hundreds of years, largely illiterate communities were capable of intricate storytelling due to the use of narrative art.

Famous Narrative Art Works:

Because this form of art has existed for millennia, narrowing a few individual works of art to hold as examples is a truly herculean task. Instead of thinking of an individual painted panel or artist, consider the major works that have influenced the world. Perhaps one of the greatest examples (both in influence and in scale!) would be the pyramids built in ancient Egypt and still surviving today to be admired for the power and grace they still signify. Slightly more recent examples would be the still-existing amphitheaters of ancient Greece and Rome. To look at more recent samples, who hasn’t seen and been moved by the experience of watching Walt Disney’s magical masterpiece Fantasia, which combines a variety of artistic styles and genres, set to powerful classical musical pieces?

Ways Technology Has Influenced Narrative Art:

As the world, and the way we communicate within it, is becoming increasingly digital, narrative art has been folded into this new medium. Because there have been movies spreading art to the world for nearly a century now, this is not a change that is difficult for people to embrace. Movies may be one of the most obvious and easily referenced examples of digital narrative art, so the Lucas Museum has a large offering of examples of film and print displays.

If you would like more information on the Lucas Museum, or where you can find other examples of Narrative art for a personal connection in your own collection, contact us at Sybaris for an expert guide to satisfy your art questions.