While the Muppets certainly get do get love at the “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens (did you know Cookie Monster was originally the Wheel Stealer? What in god’s name is that?), it is their benevolent creator that stands in the spotlight this time. Running until January 16, the exhibit features a plethora of Henson’s proto-puppets, films, sketches, pitches, doodles, storyboards and more. “A lot of this material I found in boxes Jim had saved and labeled ‘Old Production Files,’” explains Craig Shemin, president of the Jim Henson Legacy organization. “Jim saved everything.”
The museum also has a schedule of Henson-related programming coming up this fall, from “Look Both Ways and Go” with Henson’s wife Jane to a screening of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey about and attended by Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash. “He liked to say, ‘unlike anything ever done before,” daughter Cheryl Henson says of her father. “It’s kind of a Barnum & Bailey statement, but he always said that that was what the work had to be.” Finally, the one place where you won’t be judged for weeping soulfully in front of Miss Piggy in a wedding dress.