Lonely Planet Writer

A permanent Jim Henson exhibition is coming to New York thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter

A New York museum went to the public to create a permanent Jim Henson exhibition celebrating the creative genius behind The Muppets and have been hugely rewarded.

The Fraggles will be just some of the creations celebrated in the new Jim Henson exhibition.
Jim Henson the set of ‘Fraggle Rock’, circa 1985. Image by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Museum of the Moving Image has received donations of hundreds of puppets and artefacts from the Henson family and want to use them as a basis for a permanent exhibition celebrating the world’s most famous puppeteer. Among them are original puppets of some of Henson’s most famous creations, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Cookie Monster and The Fraggles.

The gallery space has already been built but the Kickstarter campaign was launched to complete the delicate restoration works on these historic puppets, which are in need of some expert care after all these years. The funds will also be used to create the display cases for the thousands of visitors the exhibition is sure to attract. There will also be an interactive element where people can create their own puppet and learn how to perform with it onscreen.

The Muppets mural in the Jim Henson Company’s New York City office
The Muppets mural in the Jim Henson Company’s New York City office Image by Jeff Christiansen / CC BY 2.0

The Kickstarter, which was just launched on 11 April, is already fully funded. It attracted 500 backers within 24 hours and many rewards of rare collectable items were snapped up. With the goal reached, the creators say the exhibition should be open for summer this year.

The museum’s Jim Henson exhibition in Queens will include sections devoted to The Muppets, Sesame Street, the imaginary worlds of Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal, as well as Henson’s early work. If you’re not able to make it to New York, they’re also launching a travelling exhibition which kicks off on 20 May in the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle and will later tour globally.

The Fraggles will have a place in the new Jim Henson exhibition.
The Fraggles will have a place in the new Jim Henson exhibition.

The Museum already hosts special screenings and events celebrating Henson and already the campaign has attracted lots of attention from fans around the world. They even launched their video with the help of actor and super-fan Neil Patrick Harris. They haven’t announced any stretch goals yet but you can support their Kickstarter and grab the rewards while they last here.

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