A Mad Men State of Mind


Who is Don Draper?

That has yet to be revealed.

But there’s no mystery
as to the time, place and era
when Mad Men ruled.

A wonderfully curated
Photo Gallery
from Slate.



NEW YORK CITY—Manhattan and St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s steeples, 1962.



NEW YORK CITY—The McCann Erickson Agency on Madison Avenue, 1959.



DEARBORN, Mich.—During the filming of an advertisement for the Ford Motor Company, 1959.



NEW YORK CITY—David Ogilvy at an awards dinner at the Hotel Roosevelt, 1965.



LONDON—Baker Street Underground station, 1959.



HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Marilyn Monroe resting between takes during a photographic studio session for the making of the film The Misfits, 1960.



NEW YORK CITY—Grey Group Advertising, 1959.



NEW YORK CITY—Mrs. O. Kaletsch promenades her miniature poodle in the upper residential area of Fifth Avenue, 1958.



NEW YORK CITY—The Forum restaurant, 1962.



NEW YORK CITY—A woman reading on the subway, 1957.



NEW YORK CITY—A back table at The Five Spot. From left to right: sculptor David Smith, painter Helen Frankenthaler (back to camera), art guru Frank O’Hara, painter Larry Rivers, painter Grace Harrington, unidentified man, sculptor Anita Huffington, and poet Kenneth Koch, 1957.






A brainstorming session at BBDO advertising agency, late 1950s.



NEW YORK CITY—Bankers Trust, 1960.



NEW YORK CITY—An office party, 1966.



FORT WORTH, Texas—1963.



UNITED STATES—Grey Advertising, 1959.




NEW YORK CITY—A literary cocktail party at George Plimpton’s Upper East Side apartment. Plimpton is seated at left with literary agent Maggie Abbott next to him. At top, left to right: Jonathan Miller, Gore Vidal, Ricky Leacock, Robert Laskey, and Paul Heller. In background, left to right: Ralph Ellison and Peter Matthiessen. Center: Walter Bernstein (seated on couch with back to camera), Sydney Lumet (behind Bernstein to right), Mario Puzo (leaning against mirror), Jack Richardson (tall man, front, right foreground), Arthur Kopit (foreground, right), Frank Perry (left of Kopit), Eleanor Perry (left of Frank), Arthur Penn (obscured behind Eleanor), and Truman Capote (center on couch), 1963.



“You make
a living
the great


do you
at night?”


“On a



Photos (Top): SÃO PAULO, Brazil—1960.
(Bottom): LOS ANGELES—1959.




~ by eaesthete on 07/27/10.

12 Responses to “A Mad Men State of Mind”

  1. These photos are wonderful and are exactly what I remember of these times. I was really young, not even old enough to vote, when President Kennedy was killed; I am from Houston. I remember all the beautiful clothes, carefully dressing, planning every single detail of apparel, the men as well. And, there were manners and decorum, qualities of behavior which have been lost to us today. Everyone had fun, nothing was as dreadful as the TV series seems to be. I watched Sunday night having never seen the show before. I will not watch again as I found it boring, realizing that in media all scenes were played out over a longer period of time than we see today, that’s not why I was bored…I thought the story line to be ponderous, tedious & frankly, not very interesting. How about you? What do you think of Mad Men?

  2. How I’d love to know what the woman on the subway is reading.
    Marvelous photographs.

  3. I love Marsha’s comment about ‘…beautiful clothes, carefully dressing, planning every single detail of apparel, the men as well…” I glimpse my mother in 1965 in her pale blue mohair coat, fine black leather gloves, auburn hair perfectly coiffed in a french roll and patent leather stilettos that clicked on the pavement. And Chanel No 5, of course.

    These are deeply nostalgic images. Thank you.

  4. Wish I’d thought to do this. I love the shots and I work in the business as did my father. Despite the first commentor (if that’s a word), the series is not that far off the mark when it comes to the drinking, the smoking, sex in and out of the office. I came into the business on the tail end of that whirlwind though I did not know it at the time. The great brainstorming sessions, the incredible creative directors of what are now legendary agencies (many gone, absorbed, merged, acquired) were gods in their own way. They really did call the shots. Now, after 20 years of corporations dismantling and bean counting all the creativity out of most shops and certainly broadcast entities, it’s just a memory. And it was anything but boring.

  5. I don’t watch the series (or any TV for that matter) because I can’t be bothered. Too many interesting books to read and friends to meet up with. I suspect, though, that the appeal of the show has everything to do with the Pax Americana, the American empire at its height, especially now since our future as a nation seems so bleak. I look at pictures of my parents who were young and beautiful at exactly this time, and I’m extremely envious. They got to experience a sophistocated era where one was expected to present oneself properly in one’s public life. Sigh……

    Great images, I especially love “Fort Worth”. You can practically hear the “Good evenin’, y’all” oozing out of the frame.

  6. I hope that greyhound doesn’t get a glimpse of the bunny!

    What wonderful photos. Sometimes I wish I had been an adult during this time period where life was more formal, but then again, they had their own separate set of worries and conflicts in which a wardrobe could not defend them.

  7. To All,

    My heartfelt thanks for so enriching these images with your lovely memories and observations. It really was a dazzling time in the culture with advertising at its apex.

    And Marsha, give MM time. Part of the beauty of this show and its writing is to be found in its complexity and nuance. I got so much more in watching it twice.

  8. You’ve done it again! What can I say? I am a MAD MEN and Don Draper, specifically Jon Hamm fan.

  9. Marsha, I have to agree with the Errant Aesthete on this one. I can appreciate what you wrote, but you need to give the program a chance. At least 3 or 4 episodes. I can’t imagine how anyone could fall into liking a show from just watching one episode. Especailly when that one episode is the fourth season premiere. Also…if everyone were having fun back then, we wouldn’t have had Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech at the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial…and we wouldn’t have had a president gunned down in Dallas.

  10. I’m sure it was a great era if you were white and upper middle class. It is highly problematic to be nostalgic of this era. You need not look far in this era to find plenty of photographic evidence that most people most definitely did not live in a world where one took time planning every detail of their apparel. A generation earlier still, one would find poverty in Houston and the rest of the gulf coast region at such depths that homes without indoor plumbing were still common.

  11. As an aspiring illustrator in the late ’60’s, early 70’s I remember fantasizing about landing a position inside one of those companies like BBDO, Gray, Olgivy Mather, J Walter Thompson, etc. I also remember reading “Confessions of an Advertising Man” by David Ogilvy (creator of the “Hathaway shirt” campaign featuring the man with the famous eye patch). Among his dictums, “never use humor in advertising.” I fully expected to wear a white shirt, tie and slacks to work. Sadly I entered the field about the time when illustration was giving way to photography and projects were farmed out to freelancers. So gone was that whole environment and culture. In 1978 I took the leap into fine art and haven’t looked back

  12. a gracious visit. merci.

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