Museum History

Jimmy Stewart was always proud of his Indiana roots and his hometown held a very special place in his heart. Jimmy was a humble man who didn’t look for adulation. He agreed to a museum in his name if it were to be humble in size, located downtown Indiana and would economically benefit his hometown. 

The Jimmy Stewart Museum opened its doors on May 20, 1995. The museum is located above the Indiana Public Library and includes 3 large exhibit galleries, 2 smaller galleries, 2 rotating exhibit hallways, a 50-seat vintage movie theater, and a gift shop. His roles as a Hollywood film actor, WWII military hero, family man, and world citizen are woven throughout the displays, film presentations, and gallery tours.


Displays are full of original movie posters, photos, costumes, and artifacts beginning from the 1930s and on. Awards and citations from the military, Hollywood, film critics, the Boy Scouts, and many others fill the walls and cases. Four of Jimmy Stewart’s military uniforms are on display as well as the original booth from Chasen’s Restaurant that Jimmy and his family always sat at. Jimmy personally selected favorite mementos to display, such as his Winchester commemorative rifle, the cowboy hat he wore in most of his westerns, the hat he wore in the movie Harvey, and a propeller blade autographed by the cast and crew of the Flight of the Phoenix. Personal letters from past Presidents and Frank Capra are also on display.

The Jimmy Stewart Museum captures the unique magic and small-town charm that catapulted the star into enduring fame. From the Museum’s windows, visitors can glimpse his boyhood home, the family hardware store site, the bronze statue dedicated to Jimmy on his 75th birthday, and the old courthouse clock immortalized by Life Magazine’s famous back-from-World War II photo.

You can view Stewart biographies, career retrospectives, and our daily matinee movies in an intimate 1930’s vintage theater. You can also visit our Shop Around the Corner gift shop to purchase unique Jimmy Stewart mementos, movies, and gifts.

The museum celebrates the holidays in It’s A Wonderful Life’s style with a unique special exhibit based on the making of the movie, daily matinees, movie posters, behind the scenes facts, photo opportunities, magical festival of trees and a miniature Granville House.