Pop CulturePhotographyArchitecture & DesignChildren & YouthFilm & Video
Mar 31, 2022–Aug 14, 2022
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited celebrates the legacy of Jim Henson (1936–1990), trailblazing puppeteer, animator, cartoonist, actor, inventor, and filmmaker. Featuring more than 150 objects drawn from the beloved worlds of Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and more, the exhibition highlights Henson’s groundbreaking work for film and television, his indelible mark on popular culture, and the profound social impact of his work. It also includes material from Henson’s experimental film projects and his early work, presenting him as a restlessly creative performer and technical innovator. While Henson himself was not Jewish, his work celebrates diversity and inclusion, both core values of The CJM. Discover how Henson and his team of builders, performers, and writers created an unparalleled body of work, sharing characters and stories that represent diverse backgrounds and abilities. These stories continue to delight audiences and inspire people of all ages to look beyond differences and cultivate a more compassionate, inclusive world.
Imagination Unlimited begins with a look at Henson’s early life through images and reproductions of his early drawings and sketches. It then follows the steady rise of his career—from early works and experiments to the famed worlds of Sesame Street, The Muppets, and beyond. Featuring a wide range of artifacts, including more than twenty puppets, character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, film and television clips, behind-the-scenes footage, and costumes, this exhibition offers a rare window into Jim Henson's boundless imagination and ingenuity. Don't miss your chance to see Kermit the Frog, Beaker, and Scooter, from The Muppets; Bert, Ernie, Grover, and Count von Count from Sesame Street; Red and Wembley from Fraggle Rock; Ludo and Fiery from Labyrinth; and Jen, Kira, and Aughra from The Dark Crystal.
The exhibition was organized by Museum of the Moving Image in collaboration with the Henson family, The Jim Henson Legacy, and The Jim Henson Company, and in cooperation with Sesame Workshop and Disney/Muppets.
View accessible exhibition text, or explore more accessibility resources at The Museum.
Immerse yourself in Jim Henson's magical worlds, The California Aggie
Unlimited Imagination, Puppetry Journal
Jim Henson exhibition reveals the Muppets' ties to the Bay Area, as well as his lesser-known innovations, Bay City News
Sights and Sounds: Muppet Performer Dave Goelz, KALW
Jim Henson’s world—from beloved Muppets to avant-garde experiments—comes to life at S.F. museum, Datebook
A Deeper Look at Jim Henson, the Man Behind the Muppets, and His Unbridled Innovations, KQED
The Muppets (and more) Take the Museum
What the World Needs Now is Muppet Love, The Economist
Marvelous Muppets: "The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited" at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, The Bay Area Reporter
"The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited" at The CJM, Marina Times
New Exhibit at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, KCBS
Unlimited Possibility: Jim Henson’s Gift of Imagination, Juxtapoz
Preview: Jim Henson Exhibit at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Open Color
Gonzo the Great on the Creativity and Collaboration Behind Jim Henson’s Muppets, Forum
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited is a traveling exhibition organized by Museum of the Moving Image (Astoria, New York) in cooperation with The Jim Henson Company, The Muppets Studio, and Sesame Workshop.
Major support for The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited is generously provided by The Jane Henson Foundation.