Muppets and Mechanisms: Jim Henson's Legacy

May 19, 2006 – September 4, 2006

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

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

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)