The Petersen is launching our 25th Anniversary Campaign: Celebrating Silver, Going for Gold. This campaign will support our future exhibits, educational programming, and continued growth.
Over 250,000 images are currently available on our public database, in partnership with SEMA and Motor Trend.
The Petersen received 30 new donated vehicles, as well as hundreds of additional donations, in the form of print material and automotive artifacts.
The Petersen received the 2016 International Historic Motoring Award for Museum for Collection of the Year, voted upon by a distinguished panel of international judges
On December 5, 2015, the Petersen reopened its doors!
DISCOVER OUR history
No stranger to the museum world, Robert Petersen had operated the Petersen Motorama Cars of the Stars on Hollywood Boulevard near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre during the 1970s. Approximately 15 years after the adventure ended, Mr. Petersen proposed the idea of an automotive museum to the Board of Directors of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (whose vehicle collection then encompassed 66 cars and motorcycles) and offered a lead gift of $15 million to begin the project. An agreement was reached, the necessary financing secured, and a disused department store building was acquired in 1992 for the memorable sum of $11,111,111.11. The original Petersen Automotive Museum opened in June 1994 as a branch of the Natural History Museum with a mission to explore and present the history of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example. With its full-size dioramas and engaging thematic galleries, the Petersen Museum rapidly established a new standard of interpretive excellence. In 2000 the museum separated from the Natural History Museum to become an independent entity owned by the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation. The new museum continued to thrive, winning awards and entertaining millions. Read more >>
celebrate with us: Petersen all-access pass
Don’t miss out on any of our 2019 events. Become an All-Access pass holder and get exclusive access to panel discussions, movie nights, exhibition openings, and more!
Your generous gifts have had a tremendous impact on the underserved community through free lunch programs, fully funded field trips to the museum, and much more.
Our funding priorities include lifelong learning, exhibitions and collection, global reach, and structural building improvements.
Over the last year, we have received over 25 vehicle donations.
To learn more about car donations, please call Mary Brisson at 323.964.6396.
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