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Over twenty Muppets donated to Smithsonian's Museum of American History

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Miss Piggy Joins Kermit the Frog at the Smithsonian

    More Than 20 Puppets and Props Donated from the Jim Henson Family
    September 24, 2013

    The National Museum of American History received a new donation of more than 20 Jim Henson puppets and props on the anniversary of his birthday—Sept. 24, 1936—from the Henson family. Miss Piggy and the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show, Bert and Elmo from Sesame Street, and Red Fraggle and Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock are among the new additions. They will join the museum’s current Jim Henson Collection, which includes Oscar the Grouch, Kermit the Frog and the cast of Sam and Friends.

    “No American artist has appealed to and affected as many people in different age groups and cultures the way Jim Henson has,” said John Gray, director of the museum. “The off-beat humor, zany characters and educational messages created the perfect combination of comedy and storytelling for classic shows that continue to entertain and teach audiences worldwide.”

    Many of the donated puppets are the first constructions of these characters and represent Henson’s work in early television commercials and shows that include The Muppet Show (1976-1981), Fraggle Rock (1983-87) and Sesame Street (1969–present). In addition, his collaborations with artist Brian Froud for the 1982 feature film The Dark Crystal, which brought to view Henson’s advances in animatronics, will be represented in the collection with a Skeksis figure and SkeksisChair. The puppets and props were designed and created at the Jim Henson Workshop in New York City, with the exception of the figures from The Dark Crystal, which were created at the Jim Henson Creature Workshop in London.

    “Jim Henson captured both the imagination and attention of diverse audiences all around the world with masterfully integrated design and film elements, and witty skits and stories that were both outlandish and charming at the same time,” said Dwight Blocker Bowers, curator in the museum’s Division of Arts and Culture. “The life and legacy of Henson will be remembered through the numerous characters that makeup this exciting collection.”

    Henson, one of the leading innovators of 20th-century entertainment, was an American puppeteer, screenwriter, film director and producer who brought the ancient art of puppetry into the modern age. He began his career in 1954, while still in high school, and continued until his untimely death in 1990. Henson’s legacy continues through The Jim Henson Foundation’s efforts to promote and develop the art of puppetry in the U.S., and through The Jim Henson Legacy—established by his late wife, Jane Henson, in 1992—which continues to preserve and present the artistic contributions of Henson and his work.

    The museum will place Miss Piggy on view within the American Stories exhibition in March 2014. In addition, several of the puppets from the Jim Henson Collection—including the original Kermit, not yet a frog, and Cookie Monster—will go on view in November in a display case that will include marionettes, hand puppets and ventriloquist figures. This display will explore the role these iconic characters have played in American culture and the impact they have had on popular entertainment. Henson’s life and work will be explored by author Brian Jay Jones in the upcoming book, Jim Henson: The Biography, which will be officially released Sept. 24.

    Through its collections, research and public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is currently renovating its west exhibition wing, developing galleries on business, democracy and culture. For more information, visit americanhistory.si.edu. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.


    This video of the donation ceremony features Cheryl Henson, daughter of Jim and Jane Henson and president of The Jim Henson Foundation; Fran Brill, puppet performer; Craig Shemin, president, The Jim Henson Legacy; Bonnie Erickson, executive director, The Jim Henson Legacy; Sue Fruchter, deputy director, National Museum of American History; and Dwight Blocker Bowers, curator of entertainment collections at the National Museum of American History.
    ploobis, Weirdo96, cjd874 and 3 others like this.
  2. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Moi? Miss Piggy was welcomed into the Smithsonian's Museum of American History on Tuesday, finally joining her amphibian beau Kermit the Frog

    Donation: The Miss Piggy puppet was gifted to the museum by Muppet creator Jim Henson's daughter Cheryl Henson (left) in a Tuesday ceremony
  3. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member


    Roommates: Sesame Street denizens Bert and Ernie will also join Miss Piggy at the Museum of American history

    Cookie Monster and Grover were were also among the Muppets donated to the Smithsonian on Tuesday. 'They've been tucked away in boxes, and we don't want them to stay in boxes,' said Cheryl Henson

    'We want people to see them and to appreciate them': Cheryl Henson is pictured here with Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear (center)
  4. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Priceless: Along with Miss Piggy are Muppets Fozzie Bear, Scooter (2nd L), Rowlf (on piano) and Swedish Chef (right). The puppets are among 20 newly donated Jim Henson objects

    Forgotten relatives: The Muppet named Wilkins was created by Henson in 1957 for the Wilkins Coffee commercials. He now appears his more famous Muppet cousins at the Museum of American History
  5. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Big leagues: The famously histrionic Miss Piggy will appear as part of the permanent American Stories exhibit starting in March alongside such famous showbiz relics as Dorthy's ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz

    Puppeteer Fran Brill poses with her character, Prairie Dawn, after Cheryl Henson, daughter of Muppets founder Jim Henson, donated 20 puppets

    Big family: A news photographer shoots puppets from Sesame Street and Muppets fame after they were donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington on Tuesday

    Memorabilia: Muppets Bert and Ernie appear with the Count (left), Cookie Monster (rear), Grover (center, beside Elmo) and even a Fraggle Rock character or two
  6. Bliffenstimmers

    Bliffenstimmers Well-Known Member

    From USA TODAY:
    FrackleFan2012 likes this.
  7. JonnyBMuppetMan

    JonnyBMuppetMan Well-Known Member

    I saw a short story about this on CBS News last night and it made me unimaginably happy. As far as I'm concerned, the first season Grover and Cookie Monster puppets more than qualify for Smithsonian status :insatiable:
  8. cahuenga

    cahuenga Well-Known Member

    J.P:Grosse is in great shape after all this years!! I wonder if its the same puppet used in the Muppet show and Muppets Toinight. Also I wonder from which season are the Fozzie , Scooter and Piggy puppets...
  9. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Yeeks, what's with that Elmo puppet?
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  10. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Wow, the original Green Grover's come down with a cause of jaundice. :eek:

    But man, if there was ever a time I really wanted to visit the Smithsonian, now's the time!
    MuppetSpot, cjd874 and CaseytheMuppet like this.
  11. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    Wow this is awesome! :)
    MuppetSpot likes this.
  12. pezbalubah

    pezbalubah Well-Known Member

    So does that mean the entire collection as we see it in the pictures will not be on display, only several of them?
  13. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Now that you brought that up, I'm wondering the same thing... hmm...
  14. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Wow I must make a trip there!
  15. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    With all the creations throughout the years, the Muppets can fill a museum of their own.
    Bliffenstimmers likes this.
  16. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    Everything looks wonderful. And of course the timing could not have been more perfect, especially with the announcement being on Jim's birthday and with the release of the Jim Henson biography. Now I know what to look forward to the next time I go to Washington D.C.
  17. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    I can only see 17 puppets on the table-J.P. Grosse,Wilkins,Cookie Monster,Miss Piggy, Elmo,Fozzie Bear,Grover,the Swedish Chef, Red Fraggle,Boober Fraggle,Travelling Matt Fraggle,Praire Dawn,The Count,Scooter,Rowlf,Ernie and Bert. I wonder who the other 4 are? They musnt be ready and need restoration. From the article, one must be a Skeksis.

    I hope one is Gonzo!
    jvcarroll likes this.
  18. galagr

    galagr Well-Known Member

    I think this is a great way to honor Jim, and I really hope that this becomes a permanent part of the Smithsonian. I mean, why not? They already have Oscar the Grouch, Kermit and the entire "Sam and Friends" group.

    But, wow! Some of these Muppets are actually really unexpected and obscure! I mean, J.P. Grosse and Scooter are finally reunited! How awesome is that? And the original Rowlf with piano to boot? Even better!

    Heck, even Ol' Fuzzyface himself got invited to the party!
    MuppetSpot, cjd874 and CaseytheMuppet like this.
  19. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    I am going down to DC with my band this spring, so maybe (hopefully) we will get to go here and see these AWESOME characters! :) I saw Kermit a few years back…. but the Sam and Friends puppets were "under restoration" at the time… :grr:
  20. mspiggy101

    mspiggy101 Member

    wow those puppets are really old where did you find these pictures I would love to know

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