Wharton Studio Museum is preserving and celebrating Ithaca's role in early American filmmaking, and developing the historic Wharton Studio building in Stewart Park into a park center with exhibits and installations about film history and the history of the park.


Wharton Studio Museum produces four annual events -- Silent Movie Under the Stars (August); Silent Movie Month (October); Southern Tier Student Film Festival (spring); and Party for the Park (September, in collaboration with Friends of Stewart Park) -- in addition to other screenings, presentations and exhibits throughout the year. View our Calendar of Events and Exhibits for full details.


YOU help support WSM's mission, programming and educational outreach when you make a gift!


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Making Noise About Silent Film

Events, Exhibits and Programs

Quiet on the Set! 2024

Quiet on the Set! Film Festival brought to you by Wharton Studio Museum 2024 Festival Details Registration: REGISTER HERE
DEADLINE: Monday, April 22
Registration is not a commitment to submit but does help us plan the Screening and Awards Ceremony and contact entrants with news Submission: SUBMIT HERE
DEADLINE: Monday, May 20
Rules & Regulations are listed on the submission website Screening & Awards Ceremony
Saturday, June 8 @ 2 PM, Cinemapolis, 120 East Green ...

Silent Movie Month 2023

In 2012, City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick proclaimed October in Ithaca as Silent Movie Month, a month-long celebration of silent film and Ithaca’s role in early movie making history produced by Wharton Studio Museum in collaboration with many local organizations. Join WSM each October for screenings, exhibits, and events at Cornell Cinema, Cinemapolis, and many other local venues. October 1-31 New Wharton Studio Museum Exhibit at the Tompkins Center for History and Culture WSM ...

Party for the Park

Join us for Friends of Stewart Park and Wharton Studio Museum's 8th annual fundraiser for park revitalization on Saturday, September 23 from 6-8:30 PM in the Picnic Pavilion and outside by the Waterfront Trail and Cayuga Lake. We’re celebrating a groundbreaking year for Stewart Park with the literal imminent groundbreaking for the Splash Pad and seasonal restroom, plus the upcoming Picnic Pavilion Addition. The addition paves the way for the Wharton Studio & Café. There ...

Marcella W.

Quiet on the Set! Film Festival– It’s a Wrap for 2022

Quiet on the Set! was a roaring success on the afternoon of June 4th at Cinemapolis, with an enthusiastic audience cheering on the fourteen wonderful films by thirteen to eighteen year-olds from throughout the Southern Tier. Thank you to festival Presenting Sponsor, the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, for its generous support! Here are the winners: 1st Prize -- "You've Done It This Time" by Marcella W. from Tompkins County. At ...

Crescent Historic Theatre

Virtual Tour of Ithaca’s Movie Theaters Then and Now

Crescent Theatre circa 19 teens Take a self-guided virtual tour of Ithaca's historic movie theaters! The tour complements WSM's and Historic Ithaca's new multimedia exhibit Biggest Little Movie City: Ithaca's Theaters Then and Now at the Tompkins Center for History and Culture on the Commons in downtown Ithaca. Take the tour here ...

Race Films Race Matters

Digital Program on Race Films from Finger Lakes Film Trail

Race Films/Race Matters: Starting Conversations About Race in America premiered one year ago and is still going strong! The digital series features five important race films, corresponding video presentations about each film by scholars from Cornell University, Ithaca College, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill, the George Eastman Museum, and Ithaca High School; and other resource materials. The series, which is free and available to all -- aims to encourage conversations about race, racial tension, and ...

Take a Wharton Studio Museum Silent Film Tour

WSM film tour

WSM has created a Wharton Studio Silent Film Tour. This self-guided tour takes you to a number of Ithaca’s silent movie history locations, beginning with the historic Wharton Studio building in Stewart Park and on to Cornell University’s campus and then on to Upper Treman! It’s fun and informative! WSM thanks Randi Kepecs for her help in producing the tour.

WSM YouTube Page...Take a look!

WSM happily premieres its series of 60-second videos! We hope each one gives you a sense of Wharton Studio history and what WSM is doing to highlight it!

Here's Archelaus "Arch" Chadwick who designed and built elaborate sets for Wharton Studio's Beatrice Fairfax, The Great White Trail and Mysteries of Myra.

WSM thanks Ancient Wisdom Productions for its great work on this project! Stay tuned for the next video coming soon....

Be in the know about what's happening at Wharton Studio Museum.

What people are saying about Wharton Studio Museum

“The Wharton Studio Museum, under the intrepid leadership of Diana Riesman, has been a wonderful addition to Ithaca’s vibrant film scene, shining a light on the city’s fascinating silent film history. In addition to all the events and exhibits that WSM has presented to draw attention to this history, it has also regularly partnered with Cornell Cinema in the presentation of silent films with live musical accompaniment, with the mutual goal of introducing new audiences to the richness of the genre.”

– Mary Fessenden, Director, Cornell Cinema

“Ted and Leo Wharton were leading players in the exciting story of silent cinema in the 1910s. The remarkable work of the Wharton Studio Museum has been instrumental in making that story known and keeping it alive more than a century later. Film scholars and cinema enthusiasts alike are in the debt of WSM and its executive director Diana Riesman.”

– Barbara Tepa Lupack, New York State Historian and Public Scholar (2015-2018) & Fellow, Rockwell Center for American Visual Culture