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Media Advisory: Smithsonian Accepts Mad Men Objects Against Backdrop of Real Advertising History

Backdrop Showcases the Country’s Creative Revolution at Mid-Century
March 26, 2015

Note to Editors: The cast will not be available for interviews. Museum entertainment and advertising history curators are available.

WHAT: AMC and Lionsgate together with Mad Men cast members and creator, writer and executive producer Matthew Weiner will present objects from the iconic TV series to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

WHEN: Friday, March 27
              11 a.m. (camera arrival 10:15 a.m.)

WHERE: National Museum of American History
                Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th Streets N.W.

WHO: Jon Hamm, “Donald Draper” in Mad Men
            John Slattery, “Roger Sterling” in Mad Men
            Christina Hendricks, “Joan Harris” in Mad Men
            Matthew Weiner, creator, writer and executive producer, Mad Men
            Dwight Bowers, entertainment curator, National Museum of American History
            Kathleen Franz, advertising history curator, National Museum of American History
            Charlie Collier, president, AMC

In a special ceremony, the National Museum of American History will accept a donation of objects from the AMC and Lionsgate TV series, Mad Men. Among the objects will be early 1960s-styled costumes and props from two of the show’s principal characters, Don Draper and Betty Francis, including Don’s charcoal grey suit and Cordova fedora and Betty’s yellow house dress. Matthew Weiner is also providing files of personal notes that informed his work.

The Mad Men objects will be presented against the backdrop of actual advertising history as the museum prepares to open “American Enterprise,” its exhibition on business that explores branding and its role in engaging consumers. Mad Men costumes and props, which represent the U.S. at the mid-20th century, mirror actual objects from advertising professionals and agencies featured in “American Enterprise” and tie in to the exhibit’s depiction of the “creative revolution” of the 1950s and ’60s that remade the American advertising industry. 

Mad Men (2007–2015) follows the professional and personal lives of Madison Avenue advertising men and women during the 1960s. Documenting social changes in America through its fictional characters, the show received widespread critical acclaim for its historical authenticity in dialogue, costume and design. The series has won multiple awards, including four Golden Globes and 15 Emmys; it was the first basic-cable show to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, and the only cable drama to receive that honor for four consecutive years.