‘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.
About a decade and a half after the museum became independent, the Petersen Museum board of directors conceived an ambitious plan that would keep the museum at the forefront of innovation and updating its outward appearance to convey a sense of speed and dynamism that would hint at the kinds of exciting artifacts it housed.’ -peterson.org