Do you remember the Hollywood blacklist? Got artifacts?


MILWAUKEE Jewish Museum Milwaukee, a program of Milwaukee Jewish Federation, is seeking local people with direct connections to the Hollywood blacklist.

Seventy years ago, the House Un-American Activities Committee began its hearings about alleged Communist subversion in the film industry, which led to an industry-enforced blacklist.

This ad appeared in newspapers as the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings were going on in 1947 and is an example of the type of artifact that Jewish Museum Milwaukee is interested in displaying in this exhibit. All of the people listed in the ad were later affected by the Blacklist.

Industry leaders declared: “We will not knowingly employ a Communist or a member of any party or group which advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States.”

This blacklist kept hundreds of writers, directors, actors and technicians from pursuing their livelihoods. Each of these people has a story and many more were indirectly impacted by the climate of fear. Jewish Museum Milwaukee is creating an exhibit to explore the Hollywood blacklist. The exhibit will open in October 2018 and will provide visitors with context of the time period.

The museum is interested in hearing from local people with direct connections to the blacklist. In particular, the museum is interested in artifacts that could be displayed with the exhibit. These include letters, scripts, film ephemera, newspapers, pamphlets and other pieces that can reflect on the Red Scare. Additionally, the museum is interested in stories that have a strong and close connection to the Hollywood experience of the Red Scare or the House Un-American Activities Committee.

If you are interested in contributing, email with a detailed description of the artifact or story.