Immerse yourself in the world of the Muppets creator with classic clips, costumes and historic puppets, including Kermit the Frog, Rowlf and Bert and Ernie.
Sesame Street, the Muppets, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth: The work of Jim Henson has been an indelible part of childhood for boomers, millennials and everyone in between.
To celebrate Henson’s legacy of creativity, the Skirball is hosting an exhibition dedicated to late Muppets creator as well as his collaborators. More than 100 objects, including Sesame Street puppets and Labyrinth costumes, explore the legacy and impact of Henson’s work.
Other objects on display include puppets and outlines for early commercial work, interactive screens stocked with Henson’s scripts and sketches, behind-the-scenes footage, a simultanous screening of every Muppet Show episode and a collection of Henson’s more experimental works, including a projection panel for a never-built nightclub in L.A. Those looking for hands-on experiences will also find stations to practice puppeteering and build an “Anything” Muppet.
If you’re like us, you may very well get a little misty when you first set eyes on the Kermit puppet. There’s a remarkable sweetness through much of Henson’s work, whether instilled through nostalgia or inherent in the lovably silly antics and appearances of his puppets. These characters were—and still are—among many children’s first friends, and they also have lessons to teach about tolerance and environmentalism (during a preview, Jim Henson Company CEO Lisa Henson described Fraggle Rock as Jim’s aspirational attempt at teaching the world to live side by side).
The travelling exhibition, which was organized by the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, opens at the Skirball on June 1 and runs through September 2. Look out for extended hours during opening day, plus screenings of The Muppet Movie (June 29) and Labyrinth (July 13).