Tom Peters, who served as Director of Design for the GM Performance Car Studio, is joining the National Corvette Museum as consulting curator of exhibits. Peters will start in his new role in January 2021. He co-curated “Car-toon Creatures” a special exhibit officially called Kustom Kars and Corvettes: The Art and Influence of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth that opened last January and will continue through April 2021.
Derek E. Moore, the NCM director of collections/curator, wondered whether Peters would be interested in a more official capacity with NCM after his work on the Rat Fink exhibit. “Of course, his design background with GM is huge,” said Moore, who thought Peters’ talents could improve the overall visual experience of the museum’s exhibits.
NCM’s collections team, including Moore and associate curator Bob Bubnis, develop a narrative plan and storyline for each exhibit. Peters will dig deeper into the stories and look of future exhibits. “We want Tom to help build up our exhibits, tapping into his first-hand experience behind GM’s closed doors,” said Moore. “Tom can take those stories that are text on a label and help us bring them alive visually.”
With Corvette Racing’s Andy Pilgrim as resident track pro at the NCM Motorsports Park and Peters as a resident design pro at NCM, the museum will continue preserving and showcasing Corvette history, but build a direct connection to the history through someone who was there to experience it and help make it.
“I think the museum has a great relationship with GM, but bringing Tom on board just makes those connections even stronger,” added Moore. “I’m excited to tap into his nearly 40 years of experience with the iconic automaker.”
“I can’t think of a better choice for this position than Tom Peters,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors president. “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.”
Peters says he is looking forward to playing a role in the museum’s exhibits moving forward. He plans some remote work and regular in person visits. “The first thing that struck me is that it’s a fabulous honor to work with the National Corvette Museum,” said Peters. “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.”
First up for Tom will be helping to refine the new Enthusiast and Damsels of Design exhibits, the latter fully funded by Elfi Duntov’s Silver Pearl Sisterhood, a female-led philanthropic giving society of the museum. “We are excited that Tom was open to this opportunity,” said Moore. “It’s really going to bring the museum to another level with the visual design of our exhibits.”
“To me, the possibilities are wide open,” said Peters. “From the viewpoint of a customer coming in, or an enthusiast, you want them to feel like they’re part of the team so they experience the excitement, whether it’s design, engineering, racing or even how you market cars. We have the opportunity to help guests fully understand the rich heritage behind what has inspired (the) 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 by contributors to the museum’s fall 2020 giving campaign. “Thanks to all of our amazing members and supporters,” said Dr. Sean Preston, NCM president and CEO. “Without you, we wouldn’t be able to grow and continue enhancing this gateway to all Things Corvette. We can’t wait for new exhibits.”
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