Amidst a year of tremendous growth, the Petersen Automotive Museum detailed a comprehensive master plan that will transform the 20-year-old Los Angeles institution into one of the finest automotive museums in the world.
The New Petersen will seamlessly blend cutting-edge interactive technology with rare and historically significant vehicles, a focus on the art of the automobile and also document Southern California cultural milestones. Announcements included a virtual tour of the museum's interior, which features 22 new galleries as part of the complete three-floor re-design. Additions to the museum's board of directors and staff and updates on the ongoing capital campaign were also revealed.
"We sought out the finest minds in museums, entertainment, education, architecture and design to create an immersive experience that blends art and science in a way that will equally appeal to those who love the automobile and visitors looking to learn something new," said Peter Mullin, the Petersen's Chairman of the Board. "We have made significant headway in our capital campaign and construction is underway. Our final major event before the interior renovation is the annual Gala, which will be held on October 18. This event will honor three automotive icons and feature a performance by The Beach Boys. Then the transformation will begin for the New Petersen, which will be a global museum standard-bearer the people of Los Angeles will be proud to call their own."
One year after revealing a stunning new exterior design by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates that will wrap the museum with long ribbons of stainless steel, the museum has unveiled an innovative gallery display plan that will set a new standard for automotive museums. Highlights include cutting-edge galleries, interactive children's displays, exhibits dedicated to art and design, media and industry, motorsports and technology and the unique role motorized transportation had in the development of Los Angeles.
Visitors will begin their journey on the third floor. It will be dedicated to the history of the automobile, both in Southern California and around the world - and includes a look at Hollywood's love affair with cars. Visitors will then descend to the second floor, dedicated to the industry of the automobile. Galleries here will explore racing, customization, manufacturing and alternate-fuel technologies as well as interactive spaces for families and a groundbreaking new satellite design studio for Art Center College of Design, the world's leading transportation design school. Visitors will end up on the first floor, focusing on the art of the automobile. This will include a large main salon devoted to the world's most beautiful automobiles and contemporary art gallery, where well known artists can explore the automobile as both inspiration and medium.
The Petersen's ongoing capital campaign is well on its way toward its $125M goal, with over $70M raised to date. Lead gifts to the ambitious campaign include multi-million dollar commitments from the Petersen Foundation and the Mullin, Sydorick, Meyer, Varner, and Nearburg families. In recognition of this leadership, several of the 22 new galleries have already been named. The first floor will be The Mullin Floor, and will include The Mullin Grand Salon, featuring some of the most iconic and beautiful cars from the past century. The David and Ginny Sydorick Grand Concourse will also reside on the first floor. The second floor will include the Bruce A. Meyer Gallery, the Richard Varner Family Motorcycle Gallery and the Charles Nearburg Motorsports Gallery.
The museum's leadership and staff have also grown to tackle the challenges of building a cutting-edge institution that resides in a thriving metropolis -- and will attract visitors from around the world. Several additions have been made to its Board of Directors. Richard Varner, a 30-year veteran of the energy and motorcycle sectors, now serves as treasurer and board member. Also new to the board are Charles Nearburg, a former race car driver and energy industry executive, and noted investor Richard Roeder, who has served on the boards of several key Los Angeles institutions, including The Natural History Museum, The Music Center and the Los Angeles Orthopedic Hospital Foundation.
Over the past year, the museum has experienced unprecedented growth, nearly tripling the number of special events and exhibits, educational programs and shows. The total number of museum visitors and student tours has also set new benchmarks. Under the guidance of Executive Director Terry Karges, The Petersen has made several key hires in several departments -- including marketing, retail operations, development and curatorial -- to support its rapid growth. Finally, nine new vehicles have been added to the museum's collection. Several of these cars have Southern California histories, including a Los Angeles-built 1900 Smith. Acquisitions are ongoing as the museum prepares for its grand-reopening.
The Petersen will continue the mission set forth by its founder, Robert E. Petersen, to showcase the automobile's role in art and culture, both locally and globally, while celebrating Southern California's place as the epicenter of the automotive landscape.
The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, California 90036. Admission prices are $15 for general admission adults, $10 for seniors, $10 for students with ID, $5 for children ages 3 to 12. Museum members, active military with ID and children under three are admitted free. Vault tours are available for an additional $20 for guests ages 13 or older, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is free for the first 30 minutes and $10 flat rate thereafter. For guests dining at Johnny Rockets in the museum lobby, parking is free for the first 60 minutes, and $8.00 flat rate thereafter with receipt. Purchase $50 or more in the museum store and receive free parking all day. The museum is open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm. For general Museum information, call 323/930-CARS or visit the Museum's Web site at: www.petersen.org. Remember to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.