Without question one of the most popular programs on television right now, Mad Men is set during the 1960s in New York, a time when having a shot of bourbon in the afternoon and giving your secretary a shot on her rump as she walked out of your office were both not only accepted but encouraged.
That bit of sexism notwithstanding, one of the things that fans of the show love the most is the artwork that is used to decorate the offices on the Mad Men set.
At once striking in their beauty, many of the paintings featured on the show are the big talk around water coolers nationwide after every episode because of their uniqueness. Not only are the works of art that they show every week interesting and thought-provoking but they also help to set the mood and tone of the show as well as transport we, the viewers, back to a time when things seemed a bit more… glamorous.
The fact is, even though it’s only a TV program, it has actually been shown that having interesting and provocative artwork around an office can greatly stimulate creativity. In a real-life advertising agency, where creativity is paramount to success, having artwork on the walls is not only attractive but actually makes good business sense. The fact is, any business would do well to display artwork as lovingly and openly as Mad Men.
The reason is simple; motivating and thought-provoking, contemporary art makes a statement about the business where it is being displayed and indeed is a definite reflection of the culture and identity to which the business chooses to aspire. Art is made to encourage and spur fresh ideas and original thoughts. A business that places importance on artwork is a business that also places importance on their people, their community at large and their culture. Artwork can also reflect the attitude that they have for their customers and in many cases shows how well they understand them.
By displaying varied and various artworks any business can raise their prestige among the business community and show their support and concern for the public, something that will serve them well no matter what type of product they manufacture or service that they provide. Mad Men may be a fictional show set in a decade long gone but, by showing that artwork has a place in the boardroom and not just in a museum, it has elevated art, and the ideas behind it, to a level that hasn’t been seen in years.