GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There was a time when Jim Henson’s pop culture impact was inescapable. Whether it was his Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, or Labyrinth, his works were seen all across the world. Now, that lifetime of creation is being brought back to life at the Grand Rapids Art Museum through The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited.

This new exhibit will take visitors through each of those worlds in new ways, exploring both his film and television impacts on pop culture.

“This expansive retrospective exhibition will be fun and fascinating across all generations,” GRAM Director Dana Friis-Hansen said. ​“Imagination Unlimited celebrates the breadth of Henson’s creativity through original artifacts — including puppetry, animation, acting, inventing, and filmmaking — and reunites us with his much-beloved cast of characters, including Kermit, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, and the Cookie Monster.”

Jim Henson’s sketch for Oscar the Grouch, 1969. © The Jim Henson Company. © 2018, Sesame Workshop. Courtesy The Jim Henson Company / MoMI.

More than 20 puppets, character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, film and television clips will be on display. Or visitors can try puppeteering themselves on camera or design their own puppets. The interactive display will bring Henson’s characters to like, like never before in Grand Rapids while showing off the visionary creation of a timeless work, while giving a close up look at iconic costumes or behind-the-scenes footage.

Imagination Unlimited takes visitors on a journey through Jim Henson’s creative life, from the moment he borrowed two library books on puppeteering as a high school student in the 1950s to his first successful television show Sam and Friends, and on through the characters and stories that left an indelible mark on popular culture,” GRAM Associate Curator Jennifer Wcisel said. ​

Jim Henson and his iconic creation Kermit the Frog, in front of a mural by Coulter Watt. Photo by John E. Barrett. Kermit the Frog © Disney/Muppets. Courtesy The Jim Henson Company/MoMI

The traveling exhibition opens on October 1, 2022 and runs through January 14, 2023. It is a special ticketed display and is not included with regular museum admission. Visit the GRAM for hours and ticket release date information.