Art Streiber shoots “Mad Men” cover story for retro issue of Newsweek

From left: Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Jon Hamm, and Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men." Photo by Art Streiber for Newsweek, March 26/April 2, 2012, issue.


The new issue of Newsweek is a smart-looking tribute both to the heyday of the original Mad men and to the hit AMC series inspired by them: Mad Men‘s long-awaited fifth season debuts at 9 PM on Sunday. Though the articles are au courant, the design of the issue harks back to the 60s, right down to the ads. So reading it is like existing in two eras at once: There’s a feature on Mitt Romney, for example, and a vintage-style ad for Spam. (Please hold your comments, ahem.) The issue’s unique concept has been getting lots of attention, including from Creativity Online, ABC News, The Huffington Post, Ad Age, and The Hollywood Reporter.

“The idea arose from a conversation with the show’s creator, Matt Weiner, who remarked that the buzzing content of the 1960s Newsweek was frequently the subtext of his show,” Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown explains in her column. “The office psychodramas in Mad Men ran parallel with a serial melodrama in the news that Newsweek covered with panache: civil rights, women’s lib, the Kennedy assassinations, Vietnam, man on the moon—even the dominance of that new tech phenomenon the Xerox machine.

“We invited the Hill Holliday ad agency in Boston to collaborate on our cover shoot,” she continues, “and its creative director, Lance Jensen, had a brain wave: wouldn’t it be eye-catching for our pages to reflect not just the editorial look of the ’60s but also the advertising idiom of the time? The concept caught fire, and soon creative directors from agencies all over were diving into their vaults to dust off visuals from old accounts like Spam, Tide, Dunkin Donuts, and Hush Puppies. Ad agencies like Brand Cottage, not around in those days, went retro just for kicks.”

The cover story was shot by Art Streiber, who photographed the stars of the show in character. (He also shot Matthew Weiner, arguably also in character—the show’s creator appears to be reading a script.) Art worked with Dirk Barnett, Newsweek‘s creative director, and Scott Hall, the director of photography. Here’s a look at his photos as seen in the Newsweek feature, which was written by Eleanor Clift (you can read it online here). The iPad version, by the way, is packed with lots more of his images. You can download it here.


Jon Hamm (who plays Don Draper) and January Jones (Betty Francis) of "Mad Men." Photo by Art Streiber for Newsweek.

Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell) and Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson). Photo by Art Streiber for Newsweek.

Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris) and John Slattery (Roger Sterling). Photo by Art Streiber for Newsweek.

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner. Photo by Art Streiber for Newsweek.


And, since we’re on the subject of looking back with appreciation, here are some portraits of Mad Men‘s stars from Art’s archives…


Jon Hamm. Photo by Art Streiber.

January Jones. Photo by Art Streiber.

John Slattery. Photo by Art Streiber.

Christina Hendricks. Photos by Art Streiber.



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  1. […] If you’re interested, you can check the full  Mad Men spread for Newsweek (including more behind-the-scenes insights from Art Streiber). Like this […]

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