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Lady in the DarkIris Barry and the Art of Film$
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Robert Sitton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165785

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165785.001.0001

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Things Past

Things Past

Chapter:
(p.369) 37 Things Past
Source:
Lady in the Dark
Author(s):

Robert Sitton

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231165785.003.0037

This chapter details Iris Barry's efforts to make her farm a source of self-sufficiency as well as her continued involvement with members of the film industry. It also describes her personal relationship with McCarthyism. James Card, curator at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, and a self-proclaimed cold warrior, viewed the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), the archivist group Iris had cofounded, as a Communist enclave and “strongly politicized” during the 1950s. In the summer of 1953, Iris applied for a passport in Nice. Perhaps as a routine inquiry following such applications, a security clearance request made its way through the offices of the U.S. Department of State. It resulted in a curious snag. A March 1, 1954, State Department memorandum revealed that “The Department is in receipt of information to the effect that MRS. ABBOTT is suspected of being a Communist or a Communist sympathizer.” The memo went on to instruct the American Embassy in Paris to interview Iris in view of obtaining her views and sympathies toward Communism.

Keywords:   McCarthyism, International Federation of Film Archives, James Card, George Eastman House, State Department, Communist

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