With Mad Men gearing up for its second season, the high-stakes world of advertising is sexier than ever, and you don’t have to work in the industry to wonder "Was the hey-day of Madison Avenue REALLY like that???"
Changing perceptions about the men and women behind some of American pop culture’s most enduring slogans— "Does she … or doesn't she?," "I Want My MTV," "Where's the beef?," "Just Do It," to name a few— is the goal of “The Real Men and Women of Madison Avenue - and Their Impact on American Culture," a new exhibition opening on June 24 through September 26, 2008 at The New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library.
Co-curated by The One Club’s CEO Mary Warlick and journalist Ann Cooper, the exhibition takes an unflinching look at the lives and work of the real heroes and heroines of Madison Avenue— those brilliant copywriters and creative directors who shaped the hopes and dreams of Americans on a daily basis over the past eighty years.
From former spy David Ogilvy to scrappy street fighter George Lois to the tough, hardworking women like Mary Wells, Phyllis Robinson and Shirley Polykoff who held their own in the famously male world of 1950s Madison Avenue, you’ll leave wondering if Mad Men's Don Draper could have even survived the Creative Revolution, let alone led it.
Exhibition on view June 24 to September 26, 2008