Who We Are. What We’re Doing.

WSM is committed to preserving and celebrating Ithaca's role in early American film making and developing the historic Wharton Studio building in Stewart Park into a park center with exhibits on film history and the history of the park.

Calendar of Events & Exhibits

Wharton Studio Museum holds four events annually, Silent Movie Under the Stars, Silent Movie Month, Silents Roar!, and Party for the Park, plus other events and exhibits throughout the year.


Support WSM's mission, programming and educational outreach by making a gift.


  • WSM and the Cherry Arts Team Up!

    December 20, 2017

    2018 looks bright because WSM is partnering with Cherry Arts to produce a new theatre piece in the vein of The Cherry’s acclaimed Storm Country that premiered in 2016! Inspired by the Wharton Studio and its bustling film production in Ithaca one hundred years ago, the audio play will be set in Stewart Park (then Renwick Park). WSM sincerely thanks Legacy Foundation for a grant to create, develop and produce the play. Happy to be including Friends of Stewart Park in the collaboration and looking forward to working with Sam Buggeln and everyone at Cherry Arts in the new year!


  • Update on Planning & Design Study for Wharton Studio Building

    October 25, 2017

    Wharton Studio Museum is nearing completion of its Planning & Design Study for the historic Wharton Studio Building in Stewart Park.  Led by architect Todd Zwigard of Todd Zwigard Architects and WSM executive director and co-founder Diana Riesman, the study — comprised of architectural renderings, programmatic plans, budget and timeline — proposes exciting renovations to the building’s exterior and transforming the interior of the lake-facing section of the historic building into a park center, with galleries featuring exhibits on Ithaca’s silent movie history and park history, rental space for meetings and events and a small office. The proposal includes striking landscape improvements including a seating area facing Cayuga Lake.  WSM thanks Tompkins County Tourism Program for making the study possible.


  • WSM to have home in new Tompkins Center for History & Culture on the Commons in ’19!

    October 25, 2017

    WSM is excited to be a partner in the Tompkins Center for History & Culture, a new exhibit-based history and culture destination in downtown Ithaca. On June 6th, 2017, the Tompkins County Legislature voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the Tompkins Trust Co. building as a home for The History Center, Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation, Community Arts Partnership, Dorothy Cotton Institute, Wharton Studio Museum and other nonprofits, as well as the Convention & Visitors Bureau. The TCHC is slated to open in early 2019. WSM thanks all project partners who worked very hard for the past year to get this venture launched. And thank you to the County Legislature for its support.


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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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