By Meredith Blake
Los Angeles Times (TNS)
Don Draper is headed for the Smithsonian.
The gray suit and fedora worn by Jon Hamm as the enigmatic lead in the landmark series “Mad Men” will join the permanent collection at the Washington, D.C., museum in a ceremony on March 27, AMC announced Tuesday.
The ceremony is one of a number of exhibitions, panel conversations and screenings planned at major cultural institutions in New York, Los Angeles and Washington in the run-up to the show’s final seven episodes, which begin airing April 5.
The Smithsonian, famously the home to Archie Bunker’s armchair from “All in the Family,” will also receive other key memorabilia from the show, including Don’s no doubt well-worn bar cart, and the original script for the memorable Season 1 finale, “The Wheel,” complete with an ending that was never filmed. (Maybe one where Harry Crane doesn’t cry?)
“We are proud and a little overwhelmed by the interest and enthusiasm from these prestigious cultural organizations, and grateful for the opportunity it’s created for us to give back to our amazing fans who have been there from the beginning,” said “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner in a press release.
In Los Angeles, Elvis Mitchell will moderate panel conversations with Weiner and key cast members following episode screenings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on March 26 and 27.
A number of events are also planned for “Mad Men’s” fictional home of New York City. An exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens running from March 14 to June 14 will feature “Mad Men” costumes, sets and props as well as Weiner’s personal notes and research material.
Also in the works at the Museum of the Moving Image is a public conversation with Weiner on March 20 and “Required Viewing, ‘Mad Men’s’ Movie Influences,” a series of 10 films selected by the show runner including Billy Wilder’s “The Apartment,” Arthur Hiller’s “The Americanization of Emily” and Claude Chabrol’s “Les Bonnes Femmes.” It runs March 14 to April 19.
A two-day film festival is also on tap at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 22 and 23.
In Manhattan, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will host a conversation with Weiner and cast members Hamm, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, John Slattery and Vincent Kartheiser on March 21. Fans can also take part in a free marathon screening of key “Mad Men” episodes selected by Weiner on March 20 and 21 at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
Meanwhile, the New York Public Library will plug its “Mad Men Reading List,” a collection of 25 titles read by characters in the series, at its three largest branches.
And Weiner will appear at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on March 29 to speak about Jewish identity in advance of an exhibition, “Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism,” opening March 31.
AMC’s other critical darling, “Breaking Bad,” was commemorated with similar events at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of the Moving Image and a marathon screening at Lincoln Center.