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Jim Henson Exhibit Needs $40K to Open Permanently at Astoria Museum

By Jeanmarie Evelly | April 11, 2017 2:57pm | Updated on April 11, 2017 4:37pm
 The Museum of the Moving Image is looking to raise $40,000 to finally open its much-anticipated Jim Henson exhibit.
The Museum of the Moving Image is looking to raise $40,000 to finally open its much-anticipated Jim Henson exhibit.
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Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image

The Muppets Take Astoria?

The Museum of the Moving Image is looking to raise $40,000 to finally open its much-anticipated Jim Henson exhibit — a permanent display of the puppeteer's work that is expected to include costumes, props and beloved Muppets like Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.

The museum launched a Kickstarter campaign Tuesday to raise money for the project, which was originally announced in 2013 when the city provided $2.75 million to fund the creation of a 2,200-square-foot gallery on the museum's second floor.

Construction of the gallery is finished, but the museum still needs funding to finish restoring the puppets included in the exhibit and to build cases to display its collection of artifacts, which were donated by Henson's family.

"We need your support to bring the rest of this incredible exhibition to life, in time for the 2017 school year," the Kickstarter page says.

The fundraising effort — which includes a video message from actor Neil Patrick Harris — will run through May 11. Those who contribute can get prizes like exhibition tickets, a curated tour of the collection or even a signed photo of Gonzo.

The campaign had raised nearly $7,000 of its $40,000 goal as of Tuesday afternoon. 

Mayor Bloomberg Plants a Kiss on Miss Piggy Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave Miss Piggy a smooch during the announcement of the Jim Henson exhibit in 2013. (DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly)

In 2012, the Museum of the Moving Image hosted a traveling exhibit of Henson's work that has been on the road in the years since, and will be on display in Seattle next month.

The permanent exhibit will include nearly 200 of Henson's beloved puppets, including the original Elmo, Cookie Monster and more.

The museum is working with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and fine arts conservators to restore the creations, according to a press release.

The gallery is also expected to include Henson's sketches, scripts, behind-the-scenes footage and photos, with special sections devoted to "Sesame Street," "The Muppets," "Fraggle Rock," and "Labyrinth," organizers said.

"While Jim Henson may be best known as the inventor of the Muppets and so many other memorable characters, our exhibition takes a more holistic view of his contributions as a producer, director, innovator, and creative leader who worked with an impressive team of collaborators," added Carl Goodman, the museum's director, in a statement.