The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York — a stone throw from the Kaufman Astoria studios where Sesame Street is taped — is presently hosting the exhibit Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, a marvelous show covering the entire span of Jim Henson’s creative career. As the program for the show says:
Fifteen iconic puppets, including Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, and Bert and Ernie, are on view, along with photographs of Henson and his collaborators at work and excerpts from his early projects and experimental films. The exhibition spans Henson’s entire career, with drawings, cartoons, and posters produced during his college years in the late 1950s and objects related to the inspired imaginary world of his popular 1982 fantasy film, The Dark Crystal. The exhibition features artifacts from Henson’s best-known projects, The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie and its sequels,Fraggle Rock, and Sesame Street, in addition to materials from Sam and Friends, an early show he created in the 1950s, and his pioneering television commercial work in the 1960s.
I had the opportunity to see the exhibit when it was at the Smithsonian in 2008, and it’s a lot of fun. And while there are plenty of familiar faces on display, you’ll also have the chance to take a peek at some hidden treasures, including some projects that never materialized.
Jim Henson’s Fantastic World runs through January 2012. You can find more information right here.
Meanwhile, the Museum of the Moving Image has put up on its website a terrific short film Henson & Oz, a affectionate look at the on- and off-screen relationship of Jim Henson and Frank Oz, and the characters they performed. And it’s very funny stuff indeed. Have a look.