Jim Henson, master of puppets

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“ALL of us under its spell, we know that it’s probably magic”. The lyrics from the “Rainbow Connection”, famously sung by Kermit the Frog in the “Muppet Movie”, feel especially resonant as a visitor walks through “The Jim Henson Exhibition”, a new permanent feature at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, a neighbourhood in New York City’s Queens. Almost every turn of the exhibit introduces a familiar foam rubber and felt-made face, each one magical in its own right—Big Bird in all his 8-feet-2-inch glory, or Miss Piggy in her fantabulous wedding finery (“Moi has always possessed a charm that is lethal to men”). But the magic is really seen in the story behind the felt: how the Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock came to be. And this is the story of Jim Henson, their creator and in the case of some Muppets, their voice.

The Henson family donated about 500 artefacts to the museum in 2013, which included puppets, product design material and licensed merchandise. The exhibition also includes sketches,…Continue reading

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