"Mad Men" Relics Find New Life at Smithsonian | NBC4 Washington

"Mad Men" Relics Find New Life at Smithsonian

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    The cast of "Mad Men" poses for a portrait ahead of the show's final season, which premieres next week, April 5, 2015. (Getty Images)

    Don Draper is making his exit with "Mad Men" this year, but his image as a 1960s advertising man will live on at the Smithsonian Institution.

    Jon Hamm, who plays Draper on the AMC drama about a New York ad agency, joined cast members and show creator Matthew Weiner at the National Museum of American History Friday to donate costumes, props, sketches and a script from the show. The collection includes Draper's trademark gray suit and fedora.

    "Mad Men's" final season begins April 5.

    A crush of cameras surrounded Hamm at the museum as he smiled and posed with his suit from the show -- the trademark of the "Mad Men" costumes. But he took no questions. Hamm recently completed treatment for alcohol addiction and has asked for privacy, through his publicist.

    Curators at the Smithsonian were particularly interested in "Mad Men's" real 1960s-period relics, from cigarette cartons and liquor bottles to shaving kits and tooth brushes used in the show, along with costumes that were recreated for the period. Some objects, including Draper's suit, will be featured in an exhibit on American culture slated for 2018.

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

    Weiner, the show's creator, said he was thrilled that objects 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."

    AMC President Charlie Collier said "Mad Men" perfectly recreated the 1960s, and he said the show's creators were honored that 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.