Jim Henson's Fantastic World

Posted by Brandon |

I've always wondered if somewhere in Los Angeles there is a warehouse filled to the brim with all the stuff that Jim Henson produced over the years. It would probably be filled with some of the amazing pieces they created for Labyrinth, all of the Fraggles, the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal, hundreds of Muppets....etc. I dream about being set loose in that warehouse digging through boxes and bins discovering all the things that Henson did and the Jim Henson Company has been doing (for better of for worse) since his untimely passing in 1990 (wow, has it really been that long?).

Well, today I stumbled upon the news that there is a traveling Smithsonion exhibition called Jim Henson's Fantastic World that features over 100 pieces of art, storyboards, puppets, videos and photographs that will be at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, May 23rd to August 16th. I'm really excited to see this exhibition. I'm sure my curiosity and my dream to be set loose in the warehouse won't be totally fulfilled, but just to get an opportunity to see some of these pieces from one of my favorite artists will be wonderful. The exhibition is currently on display at the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Florida until May 3rd.

And while doing some Googling about the Henson exhibition, I learned of the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia. The CPA already houses a few Henson items - Henson and Kermit actually cut the ribbon when the center opened in 1978 - including the aforementioned Skeksis. But what really caught my attention is that they are opening a new wing of the center devoted to Henson (links to a PDF). It's going to feature 500-700 retired Muppets, a ton of artwork, drawings and videos. It's not slated to open until 2012 though and because of our financial turmoil, I'm a little worried about it, but if it does open, I'll be making the trip to Atlanta to see it. It sounds like my kind of museum.

Addie and I watch Sesame Street almost everyday and not a day goes by that I don't think about all the great things that Jim Henson would probably still be producing if he were alive today. I think the world really misses his genius and it makes me sad that Addie won't get to grow up with Henson in the same way that I grew up with Henson. His creations live on, but they aren't even close to being the same without him.


kapgar said...

I have to wait until the end of 2010???

If you receive that warehouse invitation (and I'm imagining it being like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark), I would REALLY like a call. Please?

I'm a Muppet whore.

Avitable said...

I've heard about that exhibit - it sounds awesome.

marty mankins said...

I'm glad they found a way to preserve his history of creations. Great find.

Jay said...

And did you know that there is a Fraggle Rock movie in the works!? It's very rare that puppets give me a half-chub, but this is certainly an exception.

Becky said...

That exhibit sounds pretty interesting and I hadn't heard about it yet. He died way too young, but as a testament to his genius, the kids of today are still being entertained by the characters he created for our generation. Not too many of us watched our parents' Howdy Doody.

Catherine said...

I would not be the person I am without the Muppets, so grateful for that experience. Frank Oz, once I learned who he was, was my first real hero.

❉ pixie ❉ said...

Henson was a genius. Your last statement in this post—spot on. JQ & I always know when we are watching a show with Muppets that are post Henson. The voices just aren't the same.