Originally scheduled to open on May 1, the Makeup Museum did what many business and organizations did during the shutdown—founders continued operations online and stayed connected with the global beauty community and thousands of subscribers through digital programming.
During the shutdown, the museum created digital programs like Generations of Beauty, Pride 2020—an unveiling of legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin’s personal journals— and hosted 1950s beauty artifact “reveals” from Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The museum’s “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America” is billed as the first exhibition of its kind, focusing on beauty products, imagery and iconography through the lens of historical beauty artifacts from the Makeup Museum’s extensive collection. The exhibition begins with an exploration of beauty marketing in the 1950s, the formula and packaging innovations of the decade, key entrepreneurs and icons of the era and more. Installations include Makeup Museum’s tribute to Max Factor and his studio rooms.
Now, visitors can get inside and take that all in; tickets are on sale now in limited quantities for timed entry.
“The passion, creativity and joy behind Makeup Museum has never stopped,” Caitlin Collins, Makeup Museum co-founder, said in a statement when the re-opening date was announced. “Over the last few months we have received so much positive outreach. This has kept us energized and has continued to validate the excitement for a permanent place for makeup history to be celebrated. It is with honor, hope and absolute delight that we open our doors, making the safety of our staff and visitors the number one priority.”
To follow COVID-19 protocols, all tickets must be purchased online and in advance. There’s also reduced visitor capacity to meet New York City’s 25% occupancy mandate. The Makeup Museum is actually limiting visitors to 16% capacity to minimize queues and crowding and to maximize cleaning protocols, it said). All staff and visitors will undergo a temperature screening upon entering the Makeup Museum space, and all visitors and staff members must wear a facial covering or mask over nose and mouth.
The first 1,000 visitors will receive complimentary gift bags with products from brands that are included in the exhibition, said the co-founders.
For those not ready for a road trip, the Makeup Museum has a mobile app that features augmented reality to showcase artifacts such as the rare Salvador Dali “Bird-in-Hand” vintage compact.
“2020 has been a difficult year for so many, with the beauty industry and its artists being hit especially hard. Our dream for the Makeup Museum has always been to create a place of refuge for all beauty seekers, providing inspiration, escapism, reflection and education,” noted Rachel Goodwin, professional makeup artist and Makeup Museum co-founder.
Sponsors for the debut exhibition (Pink Jungle) are Nordstrom, Erno Laszlo, Conair, Givaudan and Alcone Company.
"In the middle of the trifecta of crises—health, economic, and social—we have seen that beauty, arts and culture still matter immensely to people. We are so excited to officially open the world's foremost cultural institution dedicated to beauty," added fellow Co-Founder Doreen Bloch, who serves as executive director of the Makeup Museum.
The Makeup Museum is located at 94 Gansevoort Street