Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare


About the Exhibit

In October 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) called Hollywood figures to testify about allegations of communist propaganda in American films. Although the committee never found evidence of Communist propaganda, ten of the writers and directors called to testify were held in contempt of Congress, fined and sentenced to prison. Hollywood’s power players responded to the proceedings by creating a self-imposed blacklist of those “Hollywood Ten” and others implicated in the proceedings. With that, the film industry became the first mass-employer to adopt a blacklist as a policy to be used against employees whose political beliefs ran counter to prevailing orthodoxies.

Blacklist: Hollywood’s Red Scare sparks reflection, conversation and engagement regarding civil liberties and patriotism in the 21st Century using the counterpoint of a time in which art, artistic expression and speech were no longer protected.

Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare is a multi-sensory exhibit that explores the intersection of politics, art, economics, and the social dynamics that impacted the American First Amendment rights of speech, religion, and assembly during Hollywood’s Red Scare. Through personal narratives of those who were blacklisted, members of House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC, and film executives, Blacklist examines the shifting definition of what it meant and means to be a patriotic American.

Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare was originally curated by Jewish Museum Milwaukee and was on display at the Museum 2018-2019.

Prying Eyes: A Prelude to the Hollywood Blacklist

“Utilizing a creative mix of graphics, illustrations, and historical documents, the Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s curators have provided viewers with a compact, illuminating perspective on the motion picture blacklist and its historical importance. Each section highlights a key element of the era, and the viewer leaves the exhibit feeling very well educated about the blacklist and its era.”
-Larry Ceplair, curator of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences exhibit on the blacklist, 2002

“It’s such a meticulous rendering of the events of that time, but with daggers pointing to the threats that media face today.”
-Samuel Norich, president of The Forward

  • Jewish Museum of Maryland, Baltimore, MD (March – November 2022)
  • Houston Holocaust Museum, Houston, TX (October 2021 – February 2022)
  • Cost: $18,000 for 3 Month Rental
  • Standard Rental Length: 3 Months (negotiable)
  • Shipping Costs: Roundtrip transit or a pro-rated amount based on rental schedule
  • Square Footage: Can Be Customized for 1,000 – 2,000 sq ft

Download the Rental Brochure to learn more about the exhibit components and bringing this one-of-a-kind exhibit to your space.

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Jewish Museum Milwaukee