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Lucas museum names first president

The first president of the planned Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was announced on Monday.

Don Bacigalupi will take the post on Jan. 15. He has more than 20 years of experience in developing museum collections and exhibitions, the Lucas museum said in a news release issued Monday.

Bacigalupi will at first focus on the planning, organization and construction of the museum.

“Don shares my vision for building an education-focused, world-class museum that expands public understanding and appreciation of narrative art,” George Lucas said in a statement. “Don’s decades of experience include a proven track record for building a museum from inception, and he recognizes that community partnerships and multidimensional programming are critical to ensuring a museum’s long-term impact.”

Bacigalupi’s most recent post was president of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. He joined that museum as executive director in 2009 and built its staff and collection and developed its facilities and programming before it opened in 2011, according to the statement issued Monday. Bacigalupi will remain a member on the Crystal Bridges Board of Directors.

“I am honored and excited to be joining the Lucas Museum as its Founding President, and I look forward to working with George and the Board to bring to life an inspiring museum that will expand our awareness and appreciation of the central role of narrative art in our culture,” Bacigalupi said in a written statement issued by the Lucas museum.

“My hope is that the Lucas Museum will educate and engage millions of visitors of all ages and backgrounds to explore new creative frontiers. I’m eager to collaborate with Chicago’s many outstanding cultural institutions as we work to create an unprecedented experience for residents and visitors alike.”

Bacigalupi past posts include serving as president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art and executive director of the San Diego Museum of Art. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in art history from the University of Texas and he received a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Houston.