Jim Henson exhibit opens in Meridian


MERIDIAN, Miss. (WCBI) – The Jim Henson: Imagination Unlimited Exhibition opened up to the public today at the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience building in Meridian.

“In the Henson Exhibit you’re going to see over 20 original puppets. You’re going to see sketches form early work and then work that he was developing at the time of his death,” said MAX Marketing Director Jerome Trahan.

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Jim Henson is best known for his classic children’s TV programs and movies like Sesame Street, The Muppets, The Dark Crystal, The Labyrinth and more.

The current exhibit is a tribute to the Mississippi native’s legacy.

“My father was born in Leland, Mississippi and he spent a lot of time on the banks of Deer Creek. Many of us feel that, that is the environment in which Kermit was born. When you watch the opening scene of The Muppet Movie and Kermit is singing Rainbow Connection, and you look at that environment, that landscape, that is the Mississippi Delta. There’s no question that Kermit is a Mississippian,” said Jim Henson’s daughter, Cheryl Henson.

Henson also said Kermit the Frog reminds her of her father.

“I think with puppetry, the puppeteer’s personality comes out more than being based on an outside person. So when I look at my father’s different characters, I see different aspects of him. The one that reminds me of my father the most is Kermit,” said Henson.

Exhibit Administrators said they want the new exhibit to inspire Mississippians.

“There’s so many negative thoughts and images about our state around the country and the world, frankly, and this really showcases who we are as a people and really gets to the heart of who we are as a people,” said Trahan.

Jim Henson died in 1990, but his work lives on. In fact, Sesame Street just celebrated their 50th season of production, and the Jim Henson company has a few new projects on the horizon.

“We have a Netflix series, a ten part series that is a prequel to The Dark Crystal…Dark Crystal Age of Resistance on Netflix coming up is probably the most exciting puppet production happening,” said Henson.

The exhibit started on January 12 and will last until May 4.

For more information you can visit https://www.msarts.org/