It kicked off the campaign on its Instagram account Thursday morning with a video of cofounder Caitlin Collins, who interviewed her grandmother, Maureen Denges. The questions — and themes of the campaign — are about beauty from the Fifties, aligned with the Makeup Museum’s debut exhibit, “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America.”
The social media campaign, native to Instagram and IGTV, is entirely submission-based. Participants can send in videos interviewing elderly loved ones, photos from the appropriate time period, and stories about their favorite looks, brands, and style icons.
The campaign’s inception predates COVID-19. “Thinking about my museum visits in my life and what stuck with me, it was the personal stories,” Collins said, adding the museum aims to be a positive force while its audience remains sequestered. “With everything that has come up, what can we do to keep the conversations alive at a time when the posts on your feed can be very anxiety-inducing?”
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Collins also hopes that the campaign will encourage reconnection to family and loved ones during the era of social distancing. “We were thinking about the older generation, and they’re very isolated during this time, and here was our chance to engage them and think about these fun and interesting memories,” Collins said.
The museum is also taking a philanthropic approach to social media campaigning, donating $1 for every like or comment on a #GenerationsofBeauty tagged post, up to $10,000, to Meals on Wheels, which is supplying meals to homebound seniors.
The Makeup Museum was slated to open its doors on May 1 across the street from the Whitney Museum in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The opening date has been postponed indefinitely following the spread of COVID-19 and closures of nonessential businesses. “Safety is the most important thing overall, and we have focused on safety and followed regulations since COVID started,” Collins said. “We feel an obligation to be hopeful that we will be able to open doors for beauty lovers anywhere.”