About this project
Final Stretch Goal: $125,000 for interactive experiences
Once again, the generosity of the community of Jim Henson fans has surpassed our wildest expectations! Thanks to all of you who helped us reach our stretch goal of $100,000 to support the conservation of puppets in the Museum’s Jim Henson Collection.
For the remainder of our Kickstarter campaign, we invite you to help support the production of the two interactive experiences in The Jim Henson Exhibition as we strive for a second and final stretch goal of $125,000. These interactive experiences are key ingredients in the exhibition, and with additional funding, we can build them as imagined. They demonstrate two of Henson’s most significant innovations: puppetry for the television screen and puppet character design.
“Perform a Puppet on Screen” gives visitors an opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to watch themselves perform a puppet on a television monitor. When they’re finished, they will be able to email a video of their performance to themselves.
The “Design an Anything Muppet Character” experience begins with a short video featuring Henson puppet-builder Rollie Krewson demonstrating how she designs “Anything Muppet” characters for Sesame Street. Visitors will be able to select facial features and accessories for an “Anything Muppet” form, and see what their character looks like on screen.
These two interactive experiences will allow visitors to get creative and discover their inner character designer and puppeteer!
Stretch Goal: $100,000 to restore more puppets!
We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the community of Jim Henson fans! Your generosity has enabled us to meet our goal of $40,000 to preserve and install the puppets in The Jim Henson Exhibition in just two days!
We hope you will continue to support us and help us spread the word about this campaign, as we extend our efforts to preserve Jim’s legacy: we are setting a new goal of $100,000, which will help us restore more puppets in the Museum’s Jim Henson collection. The Jim Henson Exhibition at MoMI and its traveling version, The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited, will feature many of Jim’s unique puppets, but there are many more “waiting in the wings” for their turn! As The Jim Henson Exhibition is a permanent exhibition at the Museum, the puppets in the original installation will rotate off at times for routine conservation, and it is imperative that other puppets be ready to take their place!
The Museum’s Jim Henson collection includes puppets from all of Jim’s work for film and television. To name just a few:
- Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Scooter, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Rowlf, Beaker, Gonzo, Zoot, the Swedish Chef, the Koozebanians, and Camilla from The Muppet Show;
- Big Bird, Elmo, Count von Count, Grover, Cookie Monster, Prairie Dawn, Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street;
- Junior Gorg, Doozers, and all the Fraggles from Fraggle Rock;
- Jen, Kira, Aughra, Pod people and a Skeksis and Mystic from The Dark Crystal;
- Rare puppets from Jim’s television commercials and other early work in the 1950s and 1960s, including Yorick from Sam and Friends, the LaChoy Dragon, Wilkins and Wontkins, Sir Linit, Taminella Grinderfall, the “Java” puppets, and the Tastee Freeze Boss;
- Puppets from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, Faffner Hall, and much more!
We cannot thank you enough for your overwhelming support. We are thrilled to be working with you all to preserve this unique and important collection for generations to come.
With a generous gift of hundreds of puppets and artifacts from the Henson family, Museum of the Moving Image in New York City plans to open a brand new, permanent exhibition dedicated to the work of legendary puppeteer and director Jim Henson. Over the course of a singular career, Henson created stories and characters for television and film that have delighted and inspired generations of fans around the world — from the glamorous Miss Piggy and the gentle Grover, to the mystical creatures of The Dark Crystal. The Jim Henson Exhibition will share the full story of Henson’s unique talent, and the deeply collaborative creative process behind his work.
What will the exhibition include?
The exhibition will feature more than 40 original puppets — including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Fraggles, and a Skeksis from The Dark Crystal — as well as puppet prototypes, original character sketches, rare behind-the-scenes footage and photographs, and interactive puppetry design and performance experiences.
Sections of the exhibition will be devoted to:
- Henson’s early work for television and film in the 1950s and 60s, in which his unbridled imagination, wit, and capacity for creative innovation were clearly established
- Sesame Street, where his remarkably expressive puppets have delighted children for generations
- The Muppet Show and Muppet feature films, which have had an indelible impact on popular culture
- and the imaginary worlds of Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth
Preserving the puppets for future generations
The Jim Henson Collection at Museum of the Moving Image includes approximately 175 historic puppets, such as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Elmo, the Fraggles, Jen and Kira from The Dark Crystal, and many, many more. The restoration of this important collection is an ongoing collaboration between the Museum and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, with input from fine art conservators. The Museum is honored to be working with the designers and builders at the legendary Creature Shop to restore and preserve the puppets for future generations.
About the traveling exhibition
The Museum is excited to launch a traveling version of the exhibition, The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited, which will tour around the country and the world! The tour kicks off at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture on May 20, 2017. We are thrilled that the flagship and traveling versions of the exhibition will reach such a large, diverse audience.
About the screenings and public programs
The Museum is already a busy hub of Henson-related activity and programming: we host monthly screenings of Henson’s work that draw a large, enthusiastic audience, and we have piloted an engaging slate of education and family programs related to the exhibition, which will serve school groups and families all year long.
The lasting, universal appeal of Henson’s work is unprecedented. People of all ages continue to be delighted and inspired by Jim Henson’s stories and characters. We’re excited to use Kickstarter to connect with Henson fans around the world, and bring this global community together to support a permanent exhibition honoring his creative legacy.
What will your contributions support?
The City of New York awarded the Museum a generous grant that has enabled us to build the gallery in which this important and inspiring exhibition will be housed. Construction of the gallery space is complete and plans for the exhibition have been finalized.
But we need your support to bring the rest of this incredible exhibition to life, in time for the 2017 school year. Your pledges will help us complete the important work of restoring the puppets in the Museum’s Henson Collection and fabricating and installing the display cases for the puppets and other artifacts.
Your contributions will ensure that hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world will be inspired by the creative process behind Jim Henson’s work, and be able to get up close and personal with such beloved puppet characters as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Big Bird, the Fraggles, and many more.
Video production by Slam! Media Group
Producer: Glen Hoffman
Camera: Peter Trilling, Stas Bilyavskiy
Audio: Evan Manners, Jordan Moser
Editing: Neil Miller, Thomas Dexter
Special thanks to the estate of Jack L. Hiller for permission to use his photographs.
Risks and challenges
If our funding goal is not met, it is likely that The Jim Henson Exhibition will not open in summer 2017, which is our target date. Once we have the necessary funds in hand, there is nothing that stands in our way of bringing The Jim Henson Exhibition to life!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter