The Petersen Car Museum Comes Roaring Back—With Walls of Video!
The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles turns 20 this year, and now the public can finally enjoy the fruits of the $125 million renovation it gave itself as a birthday present.
After a year of work, the Petersen, dedicated to collecting, preserving, and showing off historic vehicles, has reopened with an additional 300,000 square feet, 22 new galleries, and a crazy façade of candy red paint wrapped in steel ribbons. To fill all that space, the museum formed partnerships with a host of brands like Maserati, Ford, and Lucas Oil, giving it access to massive chunks of automotive history.
BMW, for example, will present a rotating selection of its famed Art Cars, which have been designed over the years by figures like Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Jenny Holzer. Maserati will be the subject of a “Design To Production” exhibit where patrons can see the Italian fetish object go from the concept stage all the way to finished car. The Petersen will have the one and only show floor for the Ford GT Supercar, complete with a history of the machine dating back to 1966 when the GT won Le Mans.
All of this feels like standard, if impressive, museum fare. To bring this automotive shrine into the future, the brain trust at the Petersen knew it needed to make the new and improved space an immersive multi-media experience. So it hired creative agency MindOverEye to make custom video content for their massive new gallery halls.
MindOverEye has worked on campaigns for Lexus, Infinti, and Mercedes. Remember that cheeky “Villains” campaign for Jaguar? That was MindOverEye. The firm got an Emmy nomination for the visual effects work it did on the Neil Degrasse Tyson re-up of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.
For the Petersen project, it created a cohesive visual narrative that runs through the renovated museum’s three floors. The first floor is the “Artistry of the Automobile” section. On a 16-foot tall, 166-foot wide arced wall, you’ll see a 12-minute abstract video loop meant to invoke the “spark of inspiration” in automotive design.
Move up into the second level and you’ll be immersed in the “Thrill of Motorsports.” MindOverEye worked up another all-encompassing video exhibit for this floor that plays at a slightly more modest size, just seven feet high and 134-feet across. To ensure viewers feel fully enmeshed in a day in the life of an auto race, the wall wraps around 180 degrees and displays stock footage as well as live action video shot by the creative team. To capture the images for such a large-scale display—as in 23,000 pixels wide—MindOverEye deployed a custom nine-camera array with bespoke optics inside.
On the top floor comes the nod to Hollywood. The “Road To Stardom” exhibit commemorates the movie industry’s icon-creating history with automobiles.
The Petersen sits on LA’s Miracle Mile, a stretch that’s been blowing up in recent years. That includes a new metro stop coming soon (hey, car lovers can use public transit, too) and a bevy of trendy food spots popping up on local heat maps. That means it’s the perfect time to go get yourself a double fist of the art-filled bougie lifestyle: Snag a lunch of avocado toast and then get your culture on by crawling from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the Petersen.
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