Entertainment & Arts

Mad Men to live on at Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Jon Hamm Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The grey suit and fedora hat Jon Hamm made famous as Don Draper has been donated to the museum

A collection of costumes and props from hit US drama Mad Men has been donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Cast members Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks and creator Matthew Weiner attended an event in Washington to present the items to the museum.

They included ad man Don Draper's trademark grey suit and fedora and other real 1960s-period props.

They will be featured as part of an exhibit on American culture in 2018.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Cast members (l-r) John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, Jon Hamm and the show's creator Matthew Weiner were on hand to donate the collection
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Period props including watches used on the drama were on display

The museum's entertainment curator, Dwight Blocker Bowers, said Mad Men producers did the best research he had ever seen for a TV show, with meticulous detail to create the look of a 1960s ad agency.

Among the donated props included shaving kits, toothbrushes, bottles of alcohol, a packet of cigarettes and watches.

Weiner said he was thrilled items from the show might one day be seen during a school field trip at the Smithsonian.

"What I love about these objects being here is that these are for the most actual objects; they are not recreation," he said. "This is the archaeological site of humanity from this period. We're glad that we saved these things.''

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes is among more than 50 items in the collection
Image copyright AFP
Image caption A selection of sketches of costumes worn on the show were also donated

Charlie Collier, the president of US network AMC which airs the show, said the show's creators were honoured Draper's suit would join Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz and other objects from entertainment history at the museum.

"You know, they say that all good things must come to an end, and all great things come to the Smithsonian," he said.

Mad Men returns to US screens for its final seven episodes on 5 April.

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