Mariah Tyler

See all your favorite characters and meet some new ones.

Jess McHugh
July 19, 2017

Fans of Jim Henson's work probably know him best as the creator of some of the best-loved puppet characters, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and Elmo.

Other fans might know him as one of the creative minds behind the cult classics "Fraggle Rock" or "Labyrinth," the latter featuring David Bowie.

A new permanent exhibit opening in Queens, New York City aims to show another side of Henson as a filmmaker and puppeteer.

“One of the goals was really to deepen our understanding of Jim Henson as an artist,” curator Barbara Miller said at a press preview on Tuesday.

Mariah Tyler

The exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image covers Henson’s life from his boyhood to his time on Sesame Street and working on the Muppets movies until his untimely death in 1990.

The exhibit was created in cooperation with the Creature Shop, the Jim Henson Legacy organization, and the city of New York, with the help of donations from private contributors. A kickstarter campaign to raise the money for the final touches on the exhibit raised more than $150,000 from some 2,000 backers.

The exhibition includes more than 300 objects, including historical photos of Henson as a young child, comic strips he made during high school, and handwritten scripts from his first shows.

Mariah Tyler

The museum has an array of some of the best-loved puppets on display, including Kermit, Miss Piggy, Big Bird, Elmo, and the Swedish Chef. An interactive element of the exhibit allows visitors to dress their own puppet and practice acting with it.

Other highlights of the objects on display include the set model for “Muppets Take Manhattan” and the original costume worn by David Bowie in “Labyrinth.”

Visitors can also explore the lesser known side of Henson, including clips from several of his experimental films that he created during the 1960s.

“Back in the 60’s I thought of myself as an experimental filmmaker...I was interested in the visual image for its own sake,” Henson once said.

Mariah Tyler

To see Henson’s evolution from experimental filmmaker to beloved children’s puppeteer to cult icon, visitors can check out the exhibit that opens July 22 at the Museum of the Moving Image. A traveling exhibit that is already open in Seattle, Washington will also tour across the U.S.

Admission to the museum is $15 for adults, $11 for seniors and students, and $7 for children.

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