Who We Are. What We’re Doing.

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.

Calendar of Events & Exhibits

Wharton Studio Museum produces four annual events -- Silent Movie Under the Stars (August); Silent Movie Month (October); Silents Roar! (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.


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


  • WSM presents Wharton Studio history at National Arts Club in NYC in March!

    January 22, 2018

    Ithaca’s Wharton, Inc. Studio makes its big city debut this coming March when WSM Executive Director Diana Riesman goes to the National Arts Club in NYC to give a presentation about early filmmaking in Upstate New York.  Romance, Exploits & Peril: Inside the Wharton Studio in Ithaca, NY will include Wharton Studio history, as well as black and white stills from the era and film clips. WSM thanks its board member Barbara Desmond who chairs the NAC’s film committee for the invitation!  7pm on Thursday, March 15th.  www.nationalartsclub.org for more information.  


  • New Planning & Design Study for Wharton Studio Building is Completed!

    January 22, 2018

    January 16, 2018   WSM is pleased to its Planning & Design Study for the historic Wharton Studio Building has been completed! Re-Envisioning the Wharton Studio Building: Transforming an Ithaca Landmark proposes a new vision and program —  through text, renderings and drawings, an implementation strategy and budget —  for the former motion picture studio in Stewart Park. The vision for developing the building into the Wharton Studio Museum and Park Visitor Center presents exciting renovations to the building’s exterior; transforms the interior of the northernmost part of the building into galleries, a rental space for meetings and a small office; and creates a striking landscaped seating and gathering area by the lake and Cayuga Waterfront Trail.  WSM thanks Tompkins County Tourism Program for making this study possible.  Re-Envisioning the Wharton Studio Building was produced by architect Todd Zwigard of Todd Zwigard Architects in Beacon, NY and WSM’s Executive Director Diana Riesman.  Next steps involve presenting the study to the City of Ithaca for review!


  • WSM and the Cherry Arts Team Up!

    December 20, 2017

    January 16, 2018   WSM is thrilled to be partnering with The Cherry Arts to produce a theatre piece in the vein of The Cherry’s Storm Country which premiered in 2016!  Inspired by the Wharton Studio era, the new audio play will be set against the backdrop of Wharton, Inc. and its bustling film production studio in Stewart Park (then known as Renwick Park) one hundred years ago.  Theatre goers will explore Stewart Park as they experience the play. WSM sincerely thanks Legacy Foundation for a grant to develop and produce this project.  Happy to be including Friends of Stewart Park in the collaboration and looking forward to working with Sam Buggeln and everyone at Cherry Arts this year!


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What People are Saying about Wharton Museum

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 Public Scholar (2015-2018) & Fellow, Rockwell Center for American Visual Culture

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