NHM Journeys

Silents From the Hart: NHM Journeys at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival

Pordenone and Venice, Italy | October 3-15, 2019

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County have brought a world of discovery to Los Angeles for over a century. NHM Journeys is our chance to take you far beyond L.A. to experience firsthand the wonders that inspire our researchers’ incredible work.

On each of our journeys, the Museum’s experts lead their own uniquely crafted itineraries through fascinating locations around the globe. Expeditions are limited to intimate groups of Fellows members and feature access to people and places no other excursion can provide. Travelers visit sites related to our experts’ groundbreaking work at the forefront of science and culture. Along the way, we explore the culture, history and beauty of some of the world’s most special places.

Download the full itinerary for our October 2019 journey to Italy.

Participation in NHM Journeys is an exclusive benefit for the Museum's Fellows members. To learn more about this group of extraordinary benefactors and to view Fellows membership levels and benefits, click here. If you are ready to join, please click here and we will be happy to welcome you as our newest Fellows.


A message from President and Director Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga:


Dear Friends,

It’s my pleasure to announce the second international adventure in our NHM Journeys program. In October 2019, we’ll join NHM’s Collections Manager for Material Culture, Beth Werling, for an exciting journey through cinema history at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival (Le Giornate del Cinema Muto) in Italy.

Since 1982, the annual Pordenone Silent Film Festival has brought the world’s foremost film scholars and enthusiasts to northeastern Italy to enjoy the most iconic, rare and significant films of the silent era. The Festival’s 2019 run will be a unique collaboration with the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, featuring a retrospective of the films of legendary Western star William S. Hart, who donated his home and its contents to the County of Los Angeles. This property is now the William S. Hart Park and Museum, part of our family of museums.

William S. Hart was the leading Western film star of the silent era. Along with such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Harold Lloyd, Walt Disney and many others, Hart and his Hollywood contemporaries were among the earliest donors to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (then known as the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art).

Their donations of original costumes, props and equipment have grown into an internationally renowned cinema history collection. This treasure trove is crucial to the Museum’s role as a steward of L.A.’s cultural heritage.

In Pordenone, we’ll see many of these original items in action in the cinematic masterpieces of William S. Hart and other silent stars. We will also meet some of the world’s top historians and film scholars, including our own Beth Werling, to learn more about the fascinating men and women who shaped the art of cinema. Throughout it all, there will be the sights, experiences and tastes of Italy’s history, culture and cuisine.

I hope you will join me in Italy this October to celebrate the legacy of Hart and Hollywood.

Warm wishes,

Lori Bettison-Varga

President and Director, Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County



Pricing and Benefits

$2,500 participation fee per traveler

NHM Fellows membership is required. The NHM traveler fee includes:

  • Pre-departure gatherings and exclusive tours of rarely displayed collections behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum, William S. Hart Museum, and our vast collections facility in Carson
  • Full access to all festival screenings
  • Invitation to festival opening and closing receptions
  • Invitations to special NHM-only gatherings throughout the trip with Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga and Beth Werling, and discussions with special guests
  • Special Venice lecture with Beth Werling
  • Fortuny Museum access
  • A day trip to local landmarks and neighboring cities during of the festival


Please Note: Itinerary is subject to change. Prices do not include airfare, lodging, or meals taken outside of pre-arranged NHM group activities. Travelers will make their own travel and hotel arrangements, but advice and assistance from NHM staff will be provided.


Register here.

If you have any questions, please contact Dominic Lo Buglio, Donor Engagement Coordinator at 213-763-3348 or dlobuglio@nhm.org.


Cancellation Policy

Payment of $2,500 per person is due in full at the time of registration. The deadline for cancellations with a full refund is September 3, 2019.