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Arts and Entertainment

On "Mad Men" LA's Natural History Museum Stands in For NY

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First of all, OMG did you see last night's Mad Men? Whoa. Just...whoa. We don't want to post any spoilers, just in case your Sunday night kept you away from the DVR. What we can talk about is one of the locations used, when Los Angeles stood in, as usual, for New York...but in this case, for a very well-known place.

When Sally Draper ends up convincing her friend Glen Bishop to meet her in Manhattan, Glen doesn't want to hang at Megan and Don Draper's swinging sky-high pad. He wants to go across to the American Museum of Natural History. So we find the kids in the moodily-lit Hall of Mammals. Except, as many of us noticed, they're at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

Gothamist did a little digging on Glen's assertion that Teddy Roosevelt killed the animals seen in the colorful but eerie dioramas, and found that's not entirely true:

Collecting for the diorama began in August 1937, when James L. Clark, then Director of Arts, Preparation, and Installation at the Museum, led an expedition through Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota to gather specimens and make studies of possible background landscapes. Most of the bison used in the completed diorama were taken from the National Bison Range in western Montana during a later expedition. The National Bison Range wildlife refuge was established in 1908 during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, and can trace its stock back to a small group of bison calves rescued by the Pend d'Oreille Indian Walking Coyote.
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When it comes to the location, and L.A.'s dioramas, ours have their roots in the 1920s, and the first dioramas were opened ahead of the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic games. However, the halls were renovated in recent years, and the NHMLA continues to add species. (You can learn about the artists here.)

Since Mad Men is filmed in L.A., many of us avid watchers can pick up on locations here that regularly stand in for New York. It's hard to beat this Curbed LA map and guide that will lead fans to spots like the Draper's original Ossining home (it's in Pasadena) and watering holes like the HMS Bounty and Casey's Irish Pub, among many more.

There's only one more episode left this season (noooo!) so let's see where else in L.A. they manage to make it to before we say goodbye to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce et al for another year.