Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles
The Petersen Automotive Museum is a museum in Los Angeles, California, dedicated to motor vehicles and automobiles, with a collection spanning over 120 years.
The museum was founded in 1994 by American publisher Robert E. Petersen, housed in a former department store in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. In 2015 the museum’s building was fully renovated and reconfigured after a design by acclaimed architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox. The $90 million renovation project also added an iconic “red and silver” facade made of stainless steel ribbons.
The new facade of the museum; photos courtesy Kohn Pedersen Fox associated PC
The collection of the Petersen Automotive Museum encompasses about one hundred vehicles – cars and motorbikes – dating from 1886 to the present.
The museum includes permanent exhibition galleries, where items from the collection are displayed on rotation and contextualized through graphics and videos, a large temporary exhibition space on the second floor, and a learning center, especially aimed at children, on the third floor.
Notable pieces from the collection include, among others, an 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, a 1900 Smith Runabout, a 1903 Indian Thor Camelback, a 1912 Harley-Davidson X8A, a 1913 Mercer Type 35-J Raceabout, a 1915 Detroit Electric Model 61, a 1932 Ford Ray Brown Roadster, a 1933 Duesenberg Model SJ, a 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, a 1948 Davis Divan, a 1952 Ferrari 212/225 Barchetta, a 1953 Dodge Storm Z-250, a 1953 Fiat v8 Supersonic, a 1953 Delahaye Type 178, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196, a 1954 Lancia D24R, a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa, a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette XP-87 Stingray, a 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ, a 1986 Porsche 962, a 1980 Williams FW07B F1 race car, one of the three DeLorean DMC-12 “Time Machine” used in the 1981 movie “Back to the future”, a 1994 Bugatti EB110, one of the only five official “Batmobile”, and a 2003 Dodge Tomahawk.
The museum organizes temporary exhibitions, often made in collaboration with major car manufacturers and research institutions, educational activities, workshops, special events, and family programs.
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, image courtesy Kohn Pedersen Fox associates
1954 Ferrari 375 MM Spyder; photo by David Zaitz
View of the exhibition “We love the automobile”; photo by David Zaitz
View of the exhibition “Alternative power”; photo by David Zaitz
Image from the exhibition “Precious Metal”, photo by David Zaitz
Image from the exhibit “Two-wheeled transportation”; photo by David Zaitz
View of the exhibition “Made in Italy”; photo by David Zaitz
2003 Dodge Tomahawk from the museum’s collection
All photos courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
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