Stuff We Love: The Museum of the Moving Image wants you to make a Jim Henson exhibit happen

There have been Muppet movies, Muppet specials, a Muppet TV show, Muppet commercials, Muppet merch and now a … Muppet museum? You could be one of the lovers and dreamers bringing it to life via Kickstarter.

The Museum of the Moving Image is looking for a rainbow connection of supporters to back its vision of a permanent Jim Henson exhibit—and a traveling version, The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited. These exhibits will immortalize Henson’s creative genius, a nostalgic labyrinth that will take you though through Labyrinth (of course), the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and some fantastical things you may have never heard of. The parade of puppets ranges from the recognizable (Elmo) to the cult favorite (Skesis) to the obscure (remember the LaChoy dragon?).

Muppet madness doesn’t just stop at the stars of the shows and movies. There are interactive experiences planned that will take you inside Henson’s imagination, as well costumes, vintage merchandise, an archive of his original sketches, storyboards and scripts and rare behind-the-scenes footage featuring the puppet master making magic with his collaborators.

Cheryl and John Henson announcing the exhibit at MOMI next to its eponymous Muppet.

MOMI has seen an outpouring of Kickstarter funds that will be used to restore and preserve Henson’s iconic puppets. Not for the squeamish, but this is what happens to the neglected ones that get lost in unclaimed baggage.

Dreaming of what lies beyond the Goblin City yet? I was able to get a glimpse of this upcoming exhibit’s potential when I visited the museum for a special screening of Labyrinth followed by a conversation with Bryan Henson and the fantastical Frouds, whose puppet and scenery designs have been a major part of Henson’s dreamscape. While you may not find any Muppet magicians casually walking around this exhibit, I remember the meticulously preserved selection of puppets behind glass—which explains why I’m stalking the Kickstarter’s progress like Piggy on Kermit.

Another wocka-wocka-wonderful reason you absolutely have to back this exhibit before the May 11 deadline: the new goal of $100,000 will allow even more puppets to join the museum’s menagerie.  

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