The Paley Center for Media (formerly known as the Museum of Television and Radio) is a cultural institution dedicated to the discussion of the cultural, creative and social significance of television, radio and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. The museum has locations in New York City and Los Angeles. The Paley Center's collection includes an extensive selection of Muppet and Henson material, which is available for public viewing in the museum's library.
The center has hosted special exhibitions about Jim Henson and the Muppets, such as The Muppets Say Cheese, a 2005 exhibit of John E. Barrett's photography. Themed-screenings of Henson's work occur on a regular basis, occasionally with special guests. One such event was Muppet Rarities: The Unseen Works of Jim Henson, an October 15th, 2003 seminar, held at the Los Angeles museum, which spotlit a variety of never-before-broadcast pilots, vintage commercials and industrial films, and early live TV variety show appearances. The event was hosted by Craig Shemin and followed by a panel discussion with Jane Henson, Jerry Nelson, and Bonnie Erickson. Full video tapes of most of the special Henson seminars and events are available for viewing at either museum branch along with all of the programs shown during the exhibits and events.
Exhibits and Events
Jim Henson - Muppets: Past, Present, Future
The Museum of Broadcasting's first Henson-related exhibition was "Jim Henson - Muppets: Past, Presnt, Future", held from January 11-February 19, 1983.
Jim Henson's World of Television
- "A series of screenings featuring episodes from 'The Muppet Show' and 'Fraggle Rock,' among other shows, and an exhibition on Mr. Henson's television career and puppet creations (including the earliest Muppets and the original Kermit the Frog.)" One prominent exhibit was the fifth floor "video wall", with a floor-to-wall grid of television monitors, all synchronized and showing video highlights from Henson's career. A newspaper account of the event provided the following explanation: "'We did it that way,' confided a museum staff member, 'so that anybody—no matter how tall—could see a TV screen.'" (New York, June 5–October 4, 1992)
The Jim Henson Legacy: Past, Present, Future
Writing for Television: Sesame Street
Sesame Street: Getting From Here to There
Daily 12:30 screenings of Henson works ran from June 22, 2001 until September 16, 2001.
- The Muppets Begin (June 22-28, 2001)
- The Muppet Show (June 29-July 5, 2001)
- Fraggle Rock (July 6-12, 2001)
- Anniversaries (July 13-19, 2001)
- Directed by Jim Henson (July 20-26, 2001)
- Sow in Love: The Romance of Kermit and Miss Piggy (July 27-August 2, 2001)
- The Kermit and Piggy Story, "Kermit and Miss Piggy Guest Appearances"
- The Many Worlds of Jim Henson (August 3-9, 2001)
- Your Host, Kermit (August 10-16, 2001)
- Once Upon A Time (August 17-23, 2001)
- Monsters and Myths (August 24-30, 2001)
- Jim Henson: No Strings (August 31-September 9, 2001)
- Anniversaries (September 12-16, 2001)
Muppet Rarities: The Unseen Works of Jim Henson
An event held on October 25, 2003 hosted by Craig Shemin and followed by a panel discussion with Jane Henson, Jerry Nelson, and Bonnie Erickson. Held at the Los Angeles museum, the event featured clips from Sam and Friends, The Today Show, Southern Bread Commercials, Wilson's Meats Meeting Film, Tales of the Tinkerdee, The Land of Tinkerdee, The Wizard of Id, The Jimmy Dean Show, Our Place, The Dick Cavett Show and The Mike Douglas Show.
One-day "50 Years" event
On September 24, 2005, the Jim Henson Company hosted events at both centers in New York and Los Angeles celebrating the Henson Company's 50th anniversary. Both featured screenings of the pilot episode of Frances and a program consisting of "The Minstrels", "The Soldier and Death" and "Hans My Hedgehog". Book signings for It's Not Easy Being Green (book) were also done (in NY Cheryl Henson was present, in LA Lisa and Brian Henson were signing books). Throughout the LA day, Brian hosted presentations focusing on future productions whereas in NY a puppeteer demonstration hosted by Tyler Bunch was presented.
Jim Henson and The Muppets Postal Station
On September 28, 2005, the United States Postal Service issued a set of Commemorative postage stamps honoring Jim Henson and the Muppets. On October 6, 2005, The Jim Henson Legacy and The Museum of Television and Radio hosted a ceremony to celebrate the release of these stamps. The event took place at The Museum of Television and Radio in New York City and included Jane, Heather, and Cheryl Henson, as well as Al Gottesman, the President of The Jim Henson Legacy, and John Hargett, the New York Manager of Post Office Operations. At the event, a special one-day "Jim Henson and the Muppets Postal Station" was set up to service mail with a pictorial cancellation designed by Heather Henson.
Celebrating 50 Years of Jim Henson & the Muppets
Daily 12:30 screenings of Henson works ran from December 2, 2005 until January 26, 2006; with occasional repeat screenings of the programs following until Apri 30, 2006.
- December 30-January 5: "Jim Henson Drops By: A Compilation of Guest Appearances by Henson and His Characters", Tales of the Tinkerdee
The Muppets Say Cheese
- Leimbach, Dulcie "For Children" The New York Times, June 26, 1992, Section: Arts. Web. Accessed November 26, 2009.
- Williams, Scott (AP) "Museum of TV Honors Muppet Master Henson" The Blade: Toledo, Ohio, Friday June 5, 1992. Web (Google News.) Accessed November 26, 2009.
- "Jim Henson Commemorative Stamps Featuring Jim and The Muppets" on jimhensonlegacy.org. Accessed November 27, 2009.