Inside the Life’s Work of Muppet Master Jim Henson

Expansive new exhibition featuring the artist's iconic and early projects opens in New York City.

July 22, 2017 5:00 am
Jim Henson Focus of NYC Museum Exhibit
American puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson with his best-known Muppet character, Kermit the Frog, January 1984. (Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

One of the nation’s premier puppet masters, Jim Henson, finally gets his artistic due starting this weekend.

Henson is the focus of a wide-ranging exhibition opening this Saturday, July 22, at the Museum of the Moving Image (you may remember this being the site of a recent Martin Scorsese exhibit).

The exhibition includes nearly 300 artifacts from Henson’s puppeteering and film career, including pieces from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. Per the museum’s website, it will also include artifacts from Henson’s lesser-known, more experimental works.

The Guardian took a sneak peek at the exhibit, and noted some of the highlights: the eight-foot, two-inch original Big Bird costume; David Bowie’s codpiece-tastic costume from Labyrinth; a handwritten draft of “Mahna Mahna“; and some rather psychedelic ads he produced in the ’60s.

The exhibit even digs into what might’ve been—the projects Henson was working at the time of his untimely death in 1990.


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