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Timelapse: Farewell to 'The Porsche Effect' at the Petersen

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Video by Valkyr Productions
Words by Matt Stone

In 2018 Porsche marked its 70th anniversary as a carmaker, and one of the many significant ways the occasion was celebrated was with an exhibit called “The Porsche Effect” at the world-famous Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit wasn't intended as a purely chronological stroll through the company's seven-decades-long history, nor specifically as a model-by-model review; instead it highlighted an all-encompassing roster of greatest hits and design landmarks, to include production models, prototypes, race cars, scale models, artifacts, and artwork, with considerable recognition to the people who built the company and made it great. After multiple extensions due to visitor demand to keep it open, “The Porsche Effect” closed to the public, and for good, in mid-April.

Designing the exhibit spaces, securing all the cars, building the displays, and exhibiting the artwork took years of curation and effort to assemble, yet it all came apart in less than a week to make way for new exhibit programs. Gloved museum staff carefully disassembled each display, and enclosed transport trucks lined the streets around the Petersen Automotive Museum to collect their cars and take them home, although a few that live nearby were picked up by their owners and driven home. Graphics that were carefully designed and applied to wall surfaces were scraped off and painted over.  Several crates of artwork were packed and shipped back to Porsche in Stuttgart.  It was somewhat ethereal to watch it all come apart and scatter, but thankfully the exhibit catalogues, T-shirts, selfies, photos, and visitor memories remain.  To paraphrase television variety show host Ed Sullivan: "It was a Really Big Show."

Look for the full, in-depth article of "The Porsche Effect" and its teardown in the July 2019 issue of Porsche Panorama.

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