Museum of the Moving Image and Jim Henson's Fantastic World Exhibit

Did you know that Oscar the Grouch was originally supposed to be pink and purple? Or that Cookie Monster used to have teeth (how terrifying)? I recently learned these tidbits and much more at the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. The museum itself is an art piece - a super modern space that houses both the old and new in film, TV, and digital media.

The show, titled Jim Henson's Fantastic World, exhibits original drawings, video, storyboards, and of course muppets themselves created by Henson and his colleagues throughout his life. On display are the expected and the unexpected. Bert and Ernie are enshrined in a glass case, along with Miss Piggy and characters from Fraggle Rock. But what made the exhibit really interesting were certain elements from Henson's life that are less famous, like his short film Time Piece, which is on loop in the museum. The film "play[s] with a flow of consciousness", going from an exploding clock to someone painting an elephant's tail pink. There is also a limited selection of colorful silkscreens by Henson. It's these pieces that really round out Henson as his own character and let you get into his amazingly creative mind. I highly recommend going to see the show, which is on display through January 16th.