About and History
Dedicated to the preservation, research and exhibition of vintage and contemporary cosmetics, the Makeup Museum is a progressive, unique space that explores makeup design and packaging, beauty culture and history from all eras. The Makeup Museum is the first comprehensive cosmetics museum in the U.S. and a leader in conceptualizing new ways of thinking about makeup and its cultural significance.
In 2006, the Museum's founder and curator had the idea to develop a coffee table book devoted to the most beautiful makeup from the 1990s and early 2000s. From that idea grew the bigger notion of an entire museum to display these objects, along with older pieces and a visual history of the beauty industry. In 2008 the Museum's website was launched as a way to chronicle new makeup releases, research vintage objects and put the idea of a dedicated cosmetics museum into the public sphere.
Location and hours
There is no public physical space for the Museum yet, but in-person tours of the collection can be arranged and admission is FREE! Plus, the magic of the internet means you can visit online 24/7. The collection as well as seasonal exhibitions are displayed in the Curator's Baltimore, Maryland home, while more in-depth exhibitions can be found here. Photos of exhibitions are posted at the website so visitors can get a sense of what a museum devoted to cosmetics would look like. The Curator would like nothing more than to break ground on a public physical space for the Museum, but it's a daunting task for someone without the connections and money required to do so. There are plans to look into into staging temporary exhibitions in local gallery spaces.
The mission of the Makeup Museum is to:
- Preserve and document contemporary and vintage cosmetic objects, both for beauty consumers and the general public.
- Promote these objects as legitimate cultural artifacts by examining the history, design, and artistic inspiration behind them.
- Explore the sociological and cultural impact of makeup objects, including their usage and advertising, along with makeup artistry.
- Research and record the history of the beauty industry and the culture therein.
- Educate the public on the artistic, cultural, and historic value of makeup from all eras through exhibitions and publications.