Hi-ho, the Muppets are coming to town.
On Tuesday Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials announced the late Jim Henson’s family has donated close to 400 puppets, costumes, props and other items to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. The announcement included special appearances by Miss Piggy — who got a kiss from the mayor — Oscar the Grouch and Gobo Fraggle.
The objects will go in a new gallery dedicated to Henson’s film and television achievements including “The Muppet Show,” “Sesame Street” and more.
“We are tremendously grateful to the Henson family and to the City of New York for identifying the museum as the location of a permanent New York City attraction devoted to this transformational figure,” said Carl Goodman, executive director of the Museum of the Moving Image.
The 2,200-square-foot gallery, which has received $2.75 million in city funds, will be on the second floor of the museum and is expected to open in winter 2014-2015. Along with donations from Henson’s family, the exhibit will feature character sketches, storyboards, scripts from The Jim Henson Company’s archive, film and television clips, behind-the-scenes footage and interactive activities.
“We are delighted that the Museum of the Moving Image will house this permanent collection of my father’s work,” said Cheryl Henson, daughter of the late Jim Henson. “Our fondness for this city and its institutions is deeply rooted as NYC was home for The Jim Henson Company for many years and is now for the Jim Henson Workshop in Long Island City.”
In 2012, “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World,” a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, concluded its five-year national tour at the Museum of the Moving Image.
The new Henson exhibition will be accompanied by ongoing programs such as curriculum-based events for school children and live presentations by people who worked with Henson and continue to advance his unique artform.