Astoria, Museums and Galleries
May 25, 2017

Mark Your Calendars – The Jim Henson Exhibition Opens at MOMI in July!

The Jim Henson Exhibition takes up permanent residence at MOMI in July!

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Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog in 1978 on the set of THE MUPPET MOVIE. Photo courtesy of The Jim Henson Company/MoMI. Kermit the Frog © Disney/Muppets.

We are really excited by the news and we think you will be, too—The Jim Henson Exhibition, a permanent exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image, will open Saturday, July 22! This exhibit will be devoted to the work of Jim Henson, known as the genius behind puppet-oriented creative endeavors like beloved TV shows Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and films such as The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. Sesame Street holds a particularly special place in our collective WHA hearts because they film it right here in the neighborhood at Kaufman Astoria Studios. (I’ve seen the set for real and it is such a special place!)

The exhibition will display a “broad range of artifacts from throughout Jim Henson’s remarkable television and film career” and will show how Jim Henson transformed American popular culture. The exhibit will be located in a brand new 2,200-square-foot gallery space on the Museum’s second floor, right next to its core exhibition, Behind the Screen, which is full of awesome artifacts from the history of the moving image (one of my favorites is the Blade Runner building model). The new gallery’s construction was funded through NYC Department of Cultural Affairs by The City of New York.

The exhibit will be filled with objects that many of you will be familiar with, including 47 puppets! Look for Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Statler & Waldorf, Big Bird, Elmo, Cantus Fraggle, a Skeksis, and many more. You’ll also get to see character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, and iconic costumes, and view film and television clips—including behind-the-scenes footage and material from Henson’s lesser known and experimental film projects—on more than 27 monitors and projections throughout the exhibit. Get even closer to the creativity of Jim Henson with Interactive experiences like puppeteering on screen and designing a puppet character.

This exhibit could not have happened without the 2013 donation of objects by Jim Henson’s family to the Museum’s collection. The exhibit itself has received gifts of support from private individuals, foundations, and the federal agency, the Institute of Museum and Library Services. A Kickstarter was also launched, attracting 2,072 backers/fans who helped fund the exhibition with a total of $144,230.

The Museum anticipates this exhibit to be a hot ticket item, so they are planning to offer advance tickets for timed entry on the website soon. Some Kickstarter backers will have tickets to the VIP Opening Reception—perhaps you are even one of them! When we hear more about the possible availability of tickets to this shindig, we’ll let you know. Also, look for a variety of education programs and additional special events (live appearances, family workshops, film screenings) related to the The Jim Henson Exhibition.

The Jim Henson Exhibition is just another reason Astoria is the best neighborhood in NYC.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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