Museum hours: Closed For Renovations

Gallery Talk: Richard Earl

November 19, 2013

Event starts at 7:00pm

Richard Earl is an automotive historian, professional speaker and curator of the photo exhibition Automotive Hollywood: A Tribute to Harley Earl. As the youngest grandson of Harley Earl, he has an intimate connection with one of America’s greatest 20th century innovators, Harley Earl, who revolutionized the auto industry with iconic business practices that helped shape capitalism as we know it.

Richard, who was born in Detroit but spent his twenties on Wall Street, returned to the Motor City in 1985 following a visit to the GM Technical Center in Warren, MI. It was during this visit that he became smitten with the ultra-futuristic clay model prototype cars he saw.  They ignited within him a desire not just to learn more about his family’s auto legacy, but about the rise of the automobile design profession at large. Fifteen years of research and over one hundred first-person interviews later, Richard is today a leading expert in the field of American automotive history.

In 2002, Richard worked with General Motors and the advertising agency McCann Erickson to create a national campaign that used Harley Earl’s (name, likeness and image) story to provide inspiration and illuminate GM’s pioneering roots. Directed by Tony Scott and featuring Tiger Woods as the modern-day spokesperson, this $200 million dollar commercial ad campaign enhanced the name value of Harley Earl and, in turn, the value of his creations. Soon thereafter, Richard helped Barrett-Jackson set a historic auction record of over $10 million dollars for three of Harley Earl’s Motoramic masterpieces.

This event is free for Petersen museum members and included with general admission for nonmembers. RSVPs are required. Please call 323-964-6358 or email