A lot can be learned about a time frame in history based on the color and shape of women’s lips. Next year the Makeup Museum will launch the first exhibition in New York City in May 2020 dedicated to the history of beauty and its impact on society. The initial installation “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America” will be an immersive exploration of entrepreneurs, icons, and artifacts of the decade.
Executive Director and co-founder Doreen Bloch said in a statement, “The Makeup Museum is a critical institution for the cultural landscape in New York because makeup has a 10,000-year history. There is so much that the Makeup Museum wants and has to explore. The 1950s is a perfect time period for the Makeup Museum to start within the debut exhibition because the 1950s is the birth of the modern cosmetics industry.”
According to Li Edelkoort, one of the world’s best-known trend forecasters, there is an interesting connection between body, lips, and time frame, influenced by focus and proportion. Many factors come into play when analyzing lipstick trends: emphasis on particular body parts, celebrities of the time, and most importantly, the economic and financial status of American society in general. The post-war 1950’s is a fascinating starting point to launch the Makeup Museum. On one hand they represent the traditional role of women and on the other hand, they embrace sexuality and feminity. This dichotomy is represented in the icons of the decade voluptuous and feminine Marilyn Monroe, and the cool and self-confident Audrey Hepburn.
Visitors can expect an immersive experience at the upcoming exhibition that will showcase vintage artifacts and robust educational information, alongside aesthetic spaces and unique events. Brand sponsors will play a special role in featuring never-before-seen elements of makeup history, such as Erno Laszlo‘s collection of facial products used by Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo.
“The 1950s is a perfect time period for the Makeup Museum to start within the debut exhibition because the 1950s is the birth of the modern cosmetics industry,” executive director and co-founder Doreen Bloch told the Hollywood Reporter. “We’re going to be displaying one-of-a-kind items, something consumers have never seen before in public.” These include personal items (creams, powders, and skin pastes) from Monroe and Garbo’s vanities. “Marilyn, to me, is still, today — not to overuse this word — such an icon. Gen Z, Boomer, everyone in-between knows her. She’s such a special reference point,” says Bloch.
“Our goal is to be able to house many exhibitions and immerse people in different time periods, and give people a really deep understanding in a very fun way, how integral the beauty aspect of each era was and how it played out,” Rachel Goodwin who is a co-founder and makeup artist to Emma Stone told The Hollywood Reporter. “What I really do hope is that makeup artists get a museum that legitimizes their craft in a way that has not happened before. We’re called artists but still seen as being on the fringe. I want to elevate the huge impact makeup artists have had on cultural norms and how they have shifted the way we see ourselves. I want to elevate them to fine art status.”
The semi-permanent space will be located in Manhattans Meatpacking for six months next spring and an early access waitlist is currently live on the Makeup Museum’s website.
Photo: via Makeup Museum