Wharton Studio Museum -- Ithaca, NY


Our 7th Annual Silent Movie Under the Stars is coming up in late August!

Stay tuned for details! Last year’s screening of Tess of the Storm Country (1922) attracted our biggest audience to date to Taughannock Falls State Park.  We look forward to a wonderful evening of silent film and live music with Cloud Chamber Orchestra this summer!  WSM sincerely thanks M&T Bank for its ongoing sponsorship of Silent Movie Under the Stars.

Then & Now: Silent Film on Location in Ithaca, NY

View the past and the present all at once in this presentation of silent film footage shot in the Ithaca area in the early 1900s. This short video shows clips from silent films made in Ithaca overlaid onto video of those same locations today and includes then and now footage from Romance of the Air (1917) at the old Ithaca airfield (Cass Park today), from Patria (1916) at Greystone Manor (now the Cornell Sigma Chi fraternity), and from If Women Only Knew (1920) along Eddy Street and at the Eddy St. Gate.

Wharton Studio Museum gratefully acknowledges the volunteer video footage and editing work by Cornell students Greg Repucci and Scott Shull Partington.

Silent Film & Cognitive Science

Wharton Studio history at SCSMI Conference

On June 4, 2016, WSM’s Executive Director Diana Riesman was invited by Cornell’s Department of Cognitive Science to present a talk with images and film clips about the Wharton Studio at the closing dinner for the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image conference held at Cornell.  WSM is grateful to the Cog Sci Department – especially Julie Simmons-Lynch and Dr. James Cutting – for the invitation and wonderful opportunity.  The conference attendees — 85 academics from all over the world in the fields of psychology and film studies – were a welcoming and enthusiastic group.  Honored to be included along with historian and writer Barbara Tepa Lupack who spoke about race film making.  It was a swell night!


Read #OscarsSoWhite, an informed commentary on this trending topic written by guest author Barbara Tepa Lupack for WSM’s Cinefiles-Ithaca blog. An author and editor of numerous books on American literature, film and culture, Ms. Lupack is a former Fulbright Professor, dean at SUNY/ESC, and a “New York State Public Scholar”.

Wharton Studio Museum is thrilled to announce that Barbara Tepa Lupack has joined the WSM Advisory Board. Among her many works is the recent biography on silent filmmaker Richard E. Norman:

Richard E. Norman and Race Filmmaking:400000000000001152196_s41 In the early 1900s, so-called race filmmakers set out to produce black-oriented pictures to counteract the racist caricatures that had dominated cinema from its inception. Richard E. Norman, a southern-born white filmmaker, was one such pioneer. From humble beginnings as a roving “home talent” filmmaker, recreating photoplays that starred local citizens, Norman would go on to produce high-quality feature-length race pictures. Together with his better-known contemporaries Oscar Micheaux and Noble and George Johnson, Richard E. Norman helped to define early race filmmaking. Making use of unique archival resources, including Norman’s personal and professional correspondence, detailed distribution records, and newly discovered original shooting scripts, this book offers a vibrant portrait of race in early cinema.”

Related link:
Norman Studios in Jacksonville, FL
Q&A With Richard Norman Biographer Barbara Tepa Lupack

Thank you to WSM 2015 Giving Tuesday Donors!

Wharton Studio Museum - Ithaca NY, Silent Film History


Thank you to our December 2015 Giving Tuesday donors! Your generosity and support is greatly appreciated!

What? You missed Giving Tuesday? It’s not too late to make a year-end contribution…see how here.


Dec. 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday!
On that day GiveGab is waiving their 5% processing fee.
Please consider giving to your favorite nonprofits through this link toGive_Gab_Button_white

New Website in the Works

We’re building a new website…

Wharton Studio Museum - Ithaca NY Silent Film

to drive traffic to preserving and celebrating Ithaca’s role in the history of American film!