Tom Peters spent a lifetime helping design cars like the Corvette.
Now the retired Director of Design for the GM Performance Car Studio will continue to put his considerable artistic talents to good use at the National Corvette Museum, where he is joining the curatorial team in January as Consulting Curator of Exhibits.
If you’ve been to the museum this year, you’ve already seen some of Peters’ work in the “Car-toon Creatures, Kustom Kars and Corvettes: The Art and Influence of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth.” During our own visit in July to pick up our 2020 Corvette, that exhibit was definitely our favorite part.
“We want Tom to help build up our exhibits, tapping into his first-hand experience behind GM’s closed doors,” said Derek Moore, Director of Collections / Curator at the Museum. “Tom can take those stories that are text on a label and help us bring them alive visually. We will look at how we can use the cars and artifacts we have to make our exhibits as much of a visual experience as they are educational – balancing the storyline with something visually interesting for our guests.”
Peters, who was inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame last year, will join Moore and Associate Curator Bob Bubnis on the NCM’s collections team that develops a narrative plan and storyline for each exhibit.
The first mission for Peters will be helping to refine the new Enthusiast exhibit area, and the Damsels of Design exhibit that was fully funded by Elfi’s Silver Pearl Sisterhood, a female-led philanthropic giving society of the NCM.
“We are excited that Tom was open to this opportunity. It’s really going to bring the Museum to another level with the visual design of our exhibits,” Moore said.
Peters will do some of his work remotely but plans regular visits to the Museum, too.
“The invitation to work with the National Corvette Museum, the first thing that struck me is that it’s a fabulous honor,” he said. “I’ve always felt that working with the Corvette team was not only a dream and a privilege, but an incredible adventure and I’ve always regarded Chevrolet and Corvette as family. This is an extension and continuation of that. Working with Chevrolet and the Corvette team becomes more than just a job, it’s part of your life and lifestyle.” GM President Mark Reuss says he can’t think of a better choice for the new position than Peters.
“His institutional knowledge of Corvette and his enthusiasm for it are unmatched. Through the years, he has played a crucial role in maintaining Corvette’s status as America’s Sports Car, and, as Consulting Curator of Exhibits, he will ensure the National Corvette Museum remains the ultimate caretaker of Corvette’s storied history and its dynamic future.”
Dr. Sean Preston, President and CEO, is likewise glad to welcome Peters to the fold.
“We have Corvette Racing’s Andy Pilgrim as our resident track pro at the NCM Motorsports Park, and now Tom Peters as a resident design pro at the National Corvette Museum,” Preston said. “We are not only preserving and showcasing Corvette history, now we have a direct connection to that history – someone who was not only there to experience it, but who made that history during his career. This is truly a historic hire for the National Corvette Museum. We care deeply for the cars and artifacts in our care, but we also curate Corvette culture. Tom has a wealth of experience and understanding in both areas. He will be a welcome addition to the already successful Curatorial and Collections team.”
Peters says the possibilities are “wide open” at the Museum and he’ll strive to make visitors feel like they’re part of the team and experience the excitement “whether it’s design, engineering, racing or even how you market cars.”
The Museum, he says, has the opportunity to help guests fully understand the rich heritage behind what has inspired Corvette over the years in terms of vision, design and development… the way they have evolved and influenced culture around the world.
The new Enthusiast area will be funded through the generous support of contributors to the Museum’s 2020 fall giving campaign. If you’ve not yet made your end-of-year tax-deductible donations and would like to support this new exhibit, click here to make an online gift. Donations may also be mailed to the Museum at 350 Corvette Drive, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
National Corvette Museum
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