Watching “Mad Men,” with its extreme attention to period detail, can feel like stepping into a time machine and landing in the 1960s. Well, now fans can very literally step into the world of “Mad Men.” “Matthew Weiner’s ‘Mad Men’” is a new exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, that gives fans a peek behind the curtain of the AMC show.
The exhibit opened on March 14 and will be on display to the public until June 14 to commemorate the final episodes of the acclaimed show, which are set to premiere on AMC on April 5. A multitude of props, costumes and more are presented, from packs of Lucky Strike cigarettes to Megan Draper’s (Jessica Paré) “Zou Bisou Bisou” outfit. Lines have been long during the first few weeks of the exhibit’s run, but it will be well worth it for fans to get a rare look behind the scenes of the Emmy-winning series.
Below are the five biggest things to see at the “Matthew Weiner's 'Mad Men'” exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image:
1. The Costumes
For years “Mad Men” has been receiving praise for its period-perfect costume design, so it comes as no surprise that costumes are the centerpiece of the New York exhibit. Main characters -- including Don (Jon Hamm), Megan, Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), Betty (January Jones), Roger (John Slattery), Pete (Vincent Kartheiser), Joan (Christina Hendricks) and even Sally (Kiernan Shipka) -- have their own display, featuring some oftheir more iconic costumes next to video monitors showing the scenes from the show for which the highlighted costumes were made. The most eye-catching piece is the blood-covered green dress that Joan was wearing during the infamous lawn mower scene.
2. The Sets
What behind-the-scenes tour would be complete without a visit to the set? Luckily, the exhibit features two of the show’s most famous locations so that visitors can do just that. Don Draper’s office is on display, but it is the original Draper kitchen from their Ossining home that will really have fans feeling nostalgic. The set has not been featured on the show in a few seasons, but it was the stage for some of the most important scenes in Don and Betty's relationship early in the series.
3. The Props
Every manner of prop is on display in “Matthew Weiner’s ‘Mad Men’”. In fact, the exhibit sometimes feels like a museum solely dedicated to preserving 1960s culture -- cigarette machines, books, office supplies and much more. There are some plot-specific props as well, such as the contract stipulations Don had to sign to return to work in episode 3 of Season 7.
4. The Notes
In addition to a recreation of the writers’ room for “Mad Men,” the walls of the exhibit are lined with production notes and script notes from creator Matthew Weiner. Patient fans will enjoy reading through the pages, as Weiner lays out previously unknown character background information -- Joan broke it off with Roger after seeing “The Apartment” -- and his plan for each character each season.
5. Alternate Credits
The opening credit sequence of “Mad Men” has become one of the show’s recognizable signatures. The silhouetted image of Don Draper was even tapped for the show’s recent commemorative statue outside of the Time-Life building. So, it comes as a surprise to learn that there were quite a few options pitched when producers were choosing the title sequence. A few of the other choices can be viewed on an iPad in the exhibit, including one, “Psyche,” in which a similarly silhouetted Don Draper walks through the halls of a nondescript ad agency before stepping onto an elevator as the doors close to reveal the show’s title.
The final episodes of "Mad Men" will premiere on AMC on April 5. Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.