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Exhibitions Home | Current | Upcoming | Past | Virtual

Muppets and Mechanisms: Jim Henson's Legacy

May 19, 2006 – September 4, 2006

Museum: American History Museum

Location: 1st Floor, Lemelson Center Case & 3rd Floor, Popular Culture

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the creation of Jim Henson's Muppets, on view are several cases featuring his groundbreaking work in puppetry and animatronics:

  • Ten hand puppets from Henson's first foray into television, Sam and Friends (which originally aired on WRC-TV in Washington, DC, from 1955 to 1962), including Sam; Pierre; Professor Madcliffe; Harry the Hipster; and the very first Kermit, a lizard-like creature Henson made from his mother's discarded green coat (Popular Cultures, 3rd floor)
  • A number of Muppets Henson personally voiced and puppeteered, including a fully-realized Kermit the Frog (1969), Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, the Swedish Chef, and the Banjo Player from the Country Trio (who is a self-portrait of Henson himself) (Popular Cultures, 3rd floor)
  • More than 10 animatronic objects, including characters from the television show Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and the feature film The Dark Crystal, along with the technology that makes them work (Lemelson Center cases, 1st floor)

See July 2006 Smithsonian magazine, p. 37