ASTORIA — A long-awaited permanent version of the exhibit devoted to Muppets creator Jim Henson will open at the Museum of the Moving Image this summer, following a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $140,000 to finish the display.
The Jim Henson Exhibition — a gallery of more than 300 objects from the famous puppeteer's career, including dozens of his best-loved puppets — will debut to visitors on July 22, the museum announced Wednesday.
A traveling version of the exhibit first visited the museum in 2012, to much acclaim. The permanent project had been in the works since 2013, when Henson's family donated hundreds of materials to the museum and the city allocated $2.75 million to build a new gallery on the second floor to house the collection.
Last month, the Museum of the Moving Image launched an online campaign to raise $40,000 to finish restoring some of the puppets and to build display cases for the exhibit. It has since raised $144,230 in donations.
Once opened, the exhibit will include 47 of Henson's puppets, including beloved characters like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Statler, Waldorf, Big Bird, Elmo and others, according to the museum.
It will also feature original character sketches, storyboard, scripts and costumes, according to a press release. The display will include monitors playing clips from Henson's movies and shows as well as behind-the-scenes footage, and the museum will offer interactive activities, like puppeteering workshops.
"It reveals how Henson and his team of builders, performers, and writers brought to life the enduringly popular worlds of "The Muppet Show," "Sesame Street," "Fraggle Rock," "The Dark Crystal," and "Labyrinth," the museum said in a statement.
"It also includes material from Henson’s lesser known and experimental film projects, presenting Henson as a restlessly creative performer, filmmaker, and technical innovator."
Advance tickets for the exhibit will go on sale soon, according to the museum.