Vale Mad Men. The Showtime series wasn’t just a vividly etched portrait of modern malaise and good haircuts. Nor was it the last great show of television’s Golden Age – though it was arguably this, too. Ultimately the show was many things to many people, including a bastion of excellent set design, as demonstrated by this 40-photo Interior Design feature.
The pictures reveal the meticulous (and apparently painstaking) attention to detail that went into crafting each of the show’s locations. Depending on which side of the interior decorating fence you fall on, the photos may strike you as outrageously dated or envy producing. Either way, there is no denying the flair and grace of the period, nor the talent that went into bringing it back to life so many years later. Many of the items were fastidiously reproduced by master craftspeople when the originals were too damaged to use, or too difficult to pry from their protective owners’ hands.
The behind-the-scenes pictures also reveal the cracks in the artifice. Ceilings have gaping openings for lighting rigs, surfaces are revealed as fake views of the hills of L.A. collapse into two-dimensionality, and items sit in sterile, frozen perfection, mostly absent of the actors that enlivened the settings. Which makes it all the easier to wishfully imagine yourself in there.