The new exhibit will officially open on July 22 in a new gallery space funded by the city. Curators hope to illustrate how Henson and his team created the worlds of “The Muppet Show,” “Sesame Street,” “Fraggle Rock,” “The Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth.”
Nearly 300 objects will be on display, including 47 puppets in addition to the character sketches, story boards, scripts, photographs and costumes. As part of the exhibit, film and television clips will be presented on more than 27 monitors installed in the space. Children and adults will be able to get close to Kermit, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Big Bird, Elmo and more.
Attendees will also be able to become puppeteers and design a puppet character. Material from Henson’s lesser-known projects will also be on display.
In April, the museum started a Kickstarter campaign for help to refurbish the puppets and raised $40,000 in 30 hours. They extended the goal two more times, eventually raising $144, 230 from 2,072 people.
“We at the Museum of the Moving Image cannot even begin to express the gratitude we feel for the overwhelming support this project has received,” the museum wrote on the campaign page. “It has been extremely heartwarming to interact with the global community of Henson fans, and we look forward to meeting many of you once the exhibit opens at the Museum!”
Those who donated to the campaign will receive prizes such as tickets to screenings, merchandise such as T-shirts and chocolate, signed autographs from famed puppeteers and a one-year museum membership. Those who pledged $200 or more will receive one-of-a-kind collectors’ items and can sponsor the restoration of a puppet.
Advance tickets for timed entry to “The Jim Henson Exhibition” will be made available on the website soon. The museum will also present an array of education programs and public events.