• If 'Pan Am' Takes a Nosedive, It Won't Be For a Lack of Authentic, Vintage Props When the 2011 fall television season made its noisy debut in September, two shows stood out for their potential to generate the same level of retro-cool buzz as "Mad Men." One was NBC's "The Playboy Club," which explored the lives of Playboy bunnies in 1960s Chicago—it was quickly cancelled. The other was ABC's "Pan Am," which followed four stewardesses based in New York City in 1963. After postin…
  • 'Mad Men' Prop Master Scott Buckwald Explains How He Re-Creates the '60s I always wanted to work in film, but I didn’t have anybody in my family who worked in the film business. I’ve been a major movie buff since I was a child, and I’ve always been very meticulous. I’ve always been a collector. The Beatles are definitely my main thing, but my wife and I collect old metal lunch boxes and I’ve always just been good at holding onto things. I have a fairly nice collecti…
  • Authentic Vintage Props, the Silent Stars of 'Titanic' and Martin Scorsese's 'The Aviator' When I was a kid, my mom had an antiques shop in Kansas City and then in Texas, so I was always around antiques and I always collected things. At one point, I would buy things and then sell them through our shop. She let me put things on consignment. So it was always in my blood. In 1985, I just wasn’t having a good time as an illustrator, which was what all my training was in, so I said to myself…
  • From Ruby Slippers to Kermit the Frog: Pop Culture Artifacts at the Smithsonian I’ve been at the Smithsonian for 28 years—I never thought I’d stay that long! The first job I had was as a producer and annotator of recordings. We used to have a very active program of archival recordings that we’d release. I came here to work on a set of American popular songs. I remained with the Division of Performing Arts until it was cast asunder and absorbed by the Museum of American Histor…
  • Collecting James Bond, Doctor Who, and The Beatles Ever since I was a child, I wanted to work in the auction business, specifically in the entertainment part. I liked the idea of handling, owning, and being a part of objects that were lynchpins in the history of music, film, or television. To accomplish my goal, I studied film, got an art-history degree, and earned an M.A. in fine-art valuation. I started out as a general auctioneer working with a…