The Era of Public Enemies

June 27 – October 18, 2009

The nation’s out of work and caught in prohibition. Corruption is high and honest employment is low. Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Bonnie and Clyde are running the streets, and public law officials are striving to reclaim order. It’s the Dirty 30s, and the Dust Bowl, Great Depression and spiraling crime spree have turned the nation upside down. Welcome to The Era of Public Enemies.

History and Hollywood merge when notorious gangsters of the 1930s take over the Oshkosh Public Museum in this blockbuster exhibition. Step back in time 75 years to one of the most tumultuous economic and criminal times in America. Revisit the string of Midwest bank robberies that captivated the nation and experience the circumstances that led to the infamous crime wave. Booshwash in a snazzy 1930s nightclub, take a seat in an art deco movie theater and experience life behind bars in a dank 1930 jail cell. Learn of the rise of the FBI and structured law enforcement as the feds attempt to take down American gangsters and the booming crime wave.

Finally, relive the transformation of Wisconsin for the 2008 filming of Public Enemies. In this community-curated section, props and images of downtown, actors, extras and set design will recreate the thrill of those few days of Hollywood in Oshkosh.