Jim Henson’s Muppets and more on display at GRAM

    Muppets and other relics from the magical mind of Jim Henson will be on display
    Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Art Museum

    Ever wondered what a Muppet looks like up close? The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited at the Grand Rapids Art Museum will gives curious fans the opportunity to view multiple creations by the groundbreaking puppeteer starting Saturday, Oct. 1. 

    Various artifacts – including some of the actual Muppets – from Henson’s films and television shows will be on display through Jan. 14. The comprehensive exhibition reveals how Henson and his team brought the puppets to life and delves into his early work, as well.

    “This expansive retrospective exhibition will be fun and fascinating across all generations,” commented GRAM Director Dana Friis-Hansen. ​“Imagination Unlimited celebrates the breadth of Henson’s creativity through original artifacts — including puppetry, animation, acting, inventing, and filmmaking — and reunites us with his much-beloved cast of characters, including Kermit, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, and the Cookie Monster.” 

    The exhibition chronicles Henson’s rise – from his first television show, Sam and Friends, to his greatest successes – and examines all of the beloved characters that have become a mainstay of popular culture. 

    Accentuated with memorabilia donated by the family of Jim Henson, as well as artworks on loan from The Jim Henson Company archives, the exhibition boasts more than 20 puppets, character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, film and television clips. Behind-the-scenes footage and iconic costumes from television shows like Sesame Street, The Muppets and Fraggle Rock as well as relics from Henson’s Dark Crystal and Labyrinth will also be on view. 

    Highlights of the exhibition include a Kermit the Frog puppet, some handwritten scripts, a clip from Henson’s Academy Award-nominated film, Time Piece, the Jen and Kira puppets from The Dark Crystal and familiar Sesame Street puppets Grover, Ernie, Bert and The Count. Costumes from the Labyrinth, starring David Bowie will also be on display. 

    The traveling exhibition was organized by the Museum of the Moving Image in cooperation with The Jim Henson Company, The Muppets Studio and Sesame Workshop. The traveling exhibition is derived from a permanent Jim Henson Exhibition at MOMI in Astoria, New York.

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