Mu­seum hon­ors Mup­pets cre­ator

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

NEW YORK — A new ex­hibit fea­tur­ing the work of Mup­pets cre­ator Jim Henson is now on per­ma­nent dis­play in New York to cel­e­brate the ca­reer of the Amer­i­can pup­peteer who brought to life such char­ac­ters as Miss Piggy and Big Bird.

The Jim Henson Ex­hi­bi­tion, housed in a new gallery space funded by the city at the Mu­seum of the Mov­ing Im­age, fea­tures more than 300 ar­ti­facts re­lated to Henson’s ca­reer, in­clud­ing 47 pup­pets, char­ac­ter sketches, sto­ry­boards, scripts, pho­to­graphs, iconic cos­tumes and more.

Film and TV clips and be­hind-the-scenes footage are pre­sented on more than 27 mon­i­tors and pro­jec­tions through­out the gallery. In­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences al­low vis­i­tors to try their hand at pup­peteer­ing on screen and de­sign­ing a pup­pet char­ac­ter.

Barbara Miller, cu­ra­tor of the col­lec­tions and ex­hi­bi­tions at the mu­seum, says the ex­hibit ex­plores Henson’s work for film and TV and his trans­for­ma­tive im­pact on pop­u­lar cul­ture. It also in­cludes ma­te­rial from some of the pup­peteer’s lesser-known film projects.

“Of course there’s fa­mil­iar fa­vorites like Miss Piggy and Ker­mit the Frog and Big Bird and all the things you would ex­pect to see at an ex­hi­bi­tion about Jim Henson and the Mup­pets,” says Miller.

“But there’s also a pic­ture that emerges of Jim Henson as an ex­per­i­men­tal film­maker, as some­one who was al­ways cre­atively rest­less and look­ing to do the next thing,” she says, adding that mu­seum staff wanted to “per­ma­nently tell this story”.

Henson’s char­ac­ters helmed The Mup­pet Show on TV be­tween 1976 and 1981, be­fore ap­pear­ing in nu­mer­ous films in­clud­ing 1992’s The Mup­pet Christ­mas Carol, and 2011’s The Mup­pets. Henson, who died in 1990 aged 53, was also the cre­ative mind be­hind the long-run­ning chil­dren’s show Sesame Street.

The ex­hibit was or­ga­nized by the Mu­seum of the Mov­ing Im­age, lo­cated in New York’s bor­ough of Queens, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Henson fam­ily that do­nated many of the show’s ar­ti­facts in 2013, The Jim Henson Legacy and The Jim Henson Com­pany, and in co­op­er­a­tion with Sesame Work­shop and The Mup­pets Stu­dio.

REUTERS

Jim Henson’s Mup­pets char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing Big Bird, the Cookie Mon­ster and Elmo, are pic­tured at the Mu­seum of the Mov­ing Im­age in the Queens bor­ough of New York.

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