Last weekend, the Museum of Moving Image finally opened their brand new exhibition dedicated to the world of Jim Henson and The Muppets, appropriately titled, The Jim Henson Exhibition. If you’ve been following over at our sister site, The Muppet Mindset, you’ll know that we were absolutely amazed by everything to be found throughout the exhibit, and the painstaking detail and work that the team put into ensuring that this new Henson exhibit is as perfect as it can be. In case you missed it, we’re going to be taking a look at a few things that make The Jim Henson Exhibition such a perfect, must-see attraction for any Muppet or Disney fan.
Archival Content and Restored Puppets:
For any die-hard Muppet fans like myself, this museum is a goldmine. That’s because so much that’s on display is incredibly rare and fascinating to look at, including original historic Muppet works, including an early Yorick puppet, The La Choy Dragon, and an endless amount of items from Jim Henson’s early years and characters, including vintage toys, sketches, and other items. The team truly dug deep into the archives in order to showcase the most that they could with this phenomenal new exhibit.
Showcasing a Visionary:
Like Walt Disney, Muppet creator Jim Henson was a creative visionary far ahead of his time. Henson would revolutionize cinema and experiment creative things with new technology. Henson was fascinated with pushing the limits of what filmmaking could do, even going so far to create new technology in order to accomplish his goals. This exhibit not only highlights him as the creator of the Muppets, but showcases him as a visionary experimental filmmaker. It showcases his breakthroughs in technology, his experimental films, and even his ambitious projects that never made it off the ground. Like Disney, there’s more than just the films we recognize him for, and cinema could not be the same without him.
Get Up and Close With Your Favorite Muppets:
Many fans will be excited to see their favorite characters on display, beautifully restored from their original version. Some of our favorites include Kermit the Frog (restored from his 1979 The Muppet Movie form), Miss Piggy, in her wedding dress from the film, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and Statler and Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, Nigel, and Zoot all from The Muppet Show era. Over at Sesame Street fans will be amazed to see a full sized restored Big Bird puppet, along with Elmo, Cookie Monster and Prairie Dawn. In another section, are Henson’s other works, including restored puppets from Fraggle Rock, and The Dark Crystal. Seeing all these puppets up close is something truly amazing, and it’s incredible to see the amount of art and detail that went into the creation of these puppets and the restoration to bring them back to their current quality.
Learn What Puppetry is All About:
My favorite thing about the exhibit is that it doesn’t merely present you with a few puppet artifacts, it spends the time to educate visitors what the art of puppetry truly means, and what it takes to be a puppeteer or puppet builder. One section offers an interactive experience for guests to perform their very own puppet by sitting on a stool or getting down on the floor to hold a puppet above their head to a camera, which is connected to a monitor on the floor. From there, guests perform their puppets and watch their performance on-screen, which is the puppetry system started by Henson, still used today. Elsewhere, guests have the opportunity to build their own ‘Anything Muppet’, which are the interchangeable background Muppets used on Sesame Street, depending on the needs of any given scene. In addition, scattered throughout are behind-the-scenes footage and clips showcasing some of the “Secrets of the Muppets” which will hopefully give guests an understanding of the amazing artistry and work that is involved in creating a Muppet production.
A Beautiful Testament to an Incredible Legacy:
All in all, The Jim Henson Exhibition offers something special, and that is the fact that the work and life of Jim Henson has been given a proper dedication and a beautiful exhibit that should preserve and celebrate his work forever. Henson changed our world with incredible creations and continues to influence and inspire so many of us, and we’re so glad that the Museum of Moving Image will have a part in passing on the legacy that Jim Henson continues to influence to millions around the world.
The Jim Henson Exhibition is now on permanant display at the Museum of Moving Image. Learn more by visiting their website.