Press Office Event


Museum Salutes Motion Picture Pioneer George Lucas with Lifetime Achievement Award and Dinner

Released: May 20, 2013 ·

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has named filmmaker George Lucas the recipient of its 2013 Bay Area Treasure Award. The annual lifetime achievement award, organized by the Modern Art Council (MAC), SFMOMA’s premier fund-raising auxiliary, recognizes artists and creative leaders in the region who continually redefine the field of visual art.

“George Lucas’s visionary work with the moving image—particularly as a pioneer of visual effects and an inventor of new forms of storytelling—is genre-crossing and has redefined the language of cinema in our age,” says SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. “Film has a long history as part of the museum’s program, and we are thrilled to celebrate Lucas’s extraordinary achievements.”

The award will be given at a presentation and dinner on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at the Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco. Proceeds from the event support SFMOMA’s exhibitions and enable the museum to serve more than 50,000 students, teachers, and families annually through diverse education programs.

“I’m proud to be recognized by SFMOMA and this award in the Bay Area,” said Lucas. “It’s an honor to be included in the company of such esteemed artists and cultural figures.”

Lucas is the 14th Bay Area Treasure Award honoree; previous recipients include media artist Jim Campbell; painters Robert Bechtle, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveria, Wayne Thiebaud, and William T. Wiley; sculptors Richard Serra and Mark di Suvero; sound artist Bill Fontana; industrial designer Sara Little Turnbull; architect Lawrence Halprin; and photographers Ruth Bernhard and Larry Sultan.

“We’re honored to celebrate such an original talent,” says MAC president Joni Binder Shwarts. “Lucas’s influence has made our region a center for innovation in film and animation. He has also contributed greatly to the community through his support of progressive education in K-12 schools, a shared priority for the museum.”

About George Lucas

Best known for his Star Wars franchise and popular Indiana Jones series, American film producer, screenwriter, and director George Lucas has revolutionized the world of cinema and pioneered new standards for sophistication in film visuals and sound. He is the director of the acclaimed 1971 film THX 1138, as well as the writer and producer of myriad independent films.  In 1971 he formed his own film company, Lucasfilm Ltd., in San Rafael, California. In 1973 he co-wrote and directed American Graffiti, which won the Golden Globe and garnered five Academy Award nominations. Four years later his Star Wars broke all box-office records. Lucas continued the Star Wars saga as storywriter and executive producer with The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. He returned to directing in 1999 with Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, which was the first major live-action film to be projected digitally. Three years later Episode II Attack of the Clones broke new ground as the first major movie shot using entirely digital media.

Lucas has also served as executive producer on such widely varied films as Willow, which was based on his original story and directed by Ron Howard; Tucker:  The Man and His Dream, directed by Francis Ford Coppola; and Akira Kurosawa’s Kagemusha (1980) and Labyrinth (1986); among others.  Lucas released and served as executive producer on Red Tails (2012), a fictional story inspired by the historic and heroic exploits of America’s first all-black aerial combat unit.  In addition, he executive produced Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the inaugural project from Lucasfilm Animation.

As Lucas continued making movies, he also furthered the development of Lucasfilm Ltd. to encompass the world’s leading entertainment companies for motion picture and television production, including Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound; LucasArts; Lucas Licensing; Lucas Online; and Lucasfilm Animation.  In 2012 Lucasfilm Ltd. was acquired by the Walt Disney Company, with longtime Lucas collaborator Kathleen Kennedy named as his successor.

Lucas has also taken a philanthropic role in applying his artistic, technical, and storytelling expertise to the classroom.  In 1991 he founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which encourages innovation in K-12 schools by documenting and sharing new evidence-based strategies that promote lifelong learning and prepare students to thrive in their adult lives. The foundation operates under the brand Edutopia, an award-winning website and documentary film program advocating for progressive education reform through access to new technology, such as interactive multimedia environments, to develop 21st-century skills.

About Film at SFMOMA

Since the 1930s SFMOMA has pioneered the presentation of film in the museum context as an essential part of the story of modern art.  Its film program has encompassed independent cinema and popular movie-making as well as works by artists, showcasing filmmakers such as Chantal Akerman, Bruce Conner, Sergei Eisenstein, Maya Deren, Alfred Hitchcock, Bong Joon-ho, the young George Lucas, Satyajit Ray, and Eve Sussman. The museum’s Phyllis Wattis Theater is known as a premium film venue in the Bay Area, and in recent years, under the initiative of Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs Dominic Willsdon, has continued to screen a wide range of film work, often in collaboration with partners such as the San Francisco Film Society, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, California College of the Arts (CCA), and San Francisco Cinematheque. Upgraded theater facilities in the museum’s expanded museum of 2016 will allow SFMOMA to further its historic commitment to film as among the visual art forms that most fully belongs to modern times.

What          SFMOMA’s 14th Annual Bay Area Treasure Award

When          Thursday, October 24, 2013 • 7–10 p.m. Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco

Tickets        Film Society Table (10 seats) $15,000 • Individual ticket $1,500
                   VIP benefactor reception
                   Invitation to Bay Area Treasure Launch Party at Yammer
                   Invitation to additional, exclusive private event (to be announced)
                   Premier dinner seating

                   Grand Benefactor Table (10 seats) $10,000 • Individual ticket $1,000
                   VIP benefactor reception
                   Invitation to Bay Area Treasure Launch Party at Yammer
                   Preferred dinner seating

                   Benefactor Individual ticket $600
                   VIP benefactor reception
                   Preferred dinner seating

                   Patron Individual ticket $400
                   One reserved dinner seat

Who            Event Chair: Jacqueline Sacks
                   Modern Art Council President: Candace Cavanaugh
                   BAT Event Committee: April Arisian; Jennifer Benham; Courtney Dallaire; Colleen Edwards; Nancy Goldstein; Beatrice Pang; Shirley
                   Parks; Stephanie Pugash; Claire Slaymaker; Joan Stracquadanio; Maria Tenaglia Watson

More           For tickets or more information call the Modern Art Council at 415.357.4125 or email mac@sfmoma.org.

Bay Area Treasure is made possible by major support from Wells Fargo. The lead sponsor is Ferrari. Additional support is provided by Sotheby’s International Realty. C Magazine is the media sponsor. Special thanks to printing sponsor Lahlouh, wine sponsor Martin Ray Winery, and champagne sponsor Jennifer and Courtney Benham.

Jill Lynch 415.357.4172 jilynch@sfmoma.org
Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org
Press Office