Jim Henson’s imagination has touched generations from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show to Labyrinth.
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited celebrates the creator’s legacy with a collection including Kermit the Frog (The Muppet Show), Ernie and Bert (Sesame Street), Jen and Kira (The Dark Crystal) plus Jareth and Sarah’s ballroom costumes from Labyrinth featured in this exploration of the visionary entertainer’s work.
The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) announced The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited. Organized by the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), the traveling exhibition will make its world premiere at MoPOP on May 20, 2017 and remain on view through January 3, 2018. The traveling exhibition will open in advance of MoMI’s permanent gallery dedicated to the renowned puppeteer, director, and producer, which will debut this year.
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited is a dynamic new visitor experience exploring Jim Henson’s groundbreaking work for film and television, and his transformative impact on popular culture. This comprehensive exhibition reveals how Henson and his team of builders, performers, and writers brought to life the enduringly popular worlds of The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and much more.
The exhibition features a broad range of artifacts related to Henson’s unparalleled career, including more than 20 puppets, character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, film and television clips, behind-the-scenes footage, iconic costumes, and interactive experiences that allow visitors to try their hand at puppeteering on camera and designing a puppet.
Imagination Unlimited begins with a brief look at Henson’s early life through images of Henson as a young man and reproductions of some of his early drawings and sketches, and then follows his steady rise and immense contributions to the art and industry of the moving image. Highlights include a Kermit the Frog puppet from 1978; handwritten scripts from Henson’s first television series, Sam and Friends (1955–1961); a clip from his Academy Award-nominated experimental film Time Piece (1965); Jen and Kira puppets from The Dark Crystal (1982); familiar Sesame Street puppets including Grover, Ernie and Bert, and Count von Count; plus Jareth and Sarah’s ballroom costumes from Labyrinth (1986).
The exhibition prominently features an exploration of The Muppet Show from a concept Henson first developed in the early 1960s to an internationally beloved series. This section features iconic puppets that helped define this world-wide brand, including Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, and Scooter, as well as material from the Muppets’ transition to the big screen, with set models and storyboards illustrating how sets were designed to accommodate puppets and performers.
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited is a traveling exhibition organized by Museum of the Moving Image (Astoria, New York) in cooperation with The Jim Henson Company, The Muppets Studio LLC, and Sesame Workshop. The exhibition features puppets and other objects donated to the Museum by the family of Jim Henson, plus works on loan from The Henson Company’s archives. Later this year, the Museum will open The Jim Henson Exhibition, a permanent gallery and exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Henson, at its home in New York.
Visit MoPOP.org to see other exhibits on display now and coming soon.