On Saturday, November 14th, the Center Puppetry Arts in Atlanta unveiled the "Worlds of Puppetry" museum which will feature a permanent exhibition space dedicated to "The Jim Henson Collection." Consisting of objects from a collection donated to the Center as announced by the Henson Family in 2007, the initial exhibit features more than 70 objects, and items from among the hundreds of other objects in the Center's collection will rotate in and out after this first year.
The Center's conservators have done painstaking, beautiful work to make sure the objects on display can be enjoyed by audiences for years to come.
Celebrate Jim Henson's unique sense of humor and style with this limited edition set of three original lithographs – Hilarity, Melancholy and Conceit.
This fall is scheduled to see the opening of two permanent exhibitions of Jim Henson's work, one at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA and the other in the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City. To mark the occasion, the Henson family has commissioned master printer Andrew Mockler to create original lithographs of three silkscreen prints originally designed by Jim Henson himself. These pieces are available only to donors to either museum at the $10,000 level.
For more information about the museums:
At the end of September, The Jim Henson Legacy, with our friends at Sesame Workshop and The Jim Henson Company, gathered to wish a happy retirement to the inimitable Fran Brill.
Fran was the first female hired by Jim Henson as a puppeteer on Sesame Street. During her long career with the show, this Emmy Award winning performer portrayed Prairie Dawn, Zoe, Little Bird, Polly Darton, Scottish Mary of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," Bo Peep, Roxy Marie, and too many others to name. In the U.S. she performed Kami, a character from the South African co-production Takalani Sesame.
Other work with the Muppets included Saturday Night Live, The Muppet Show, The Jim Henson Hour, Dog City, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Cinderelmo, Elmopalooza with Jon Stewart, home videos including Zoe's Dance Moves with Paula Abdul and numerous CDs and audiotapes. Fran also worked as a puppeteer on the films Men in Black and The Producers.
Along with all of this work, Fran had a film, television and theatrical career, appearing in What About Bob?, Being There, All My Children, multiple Law and Order episodes, Look Back in Anger, Love Letters, and much more. Makes one tired just thinking about it, doesn't it?
So, her friends, family and colleagues wish Fran a quiet retirement...with all the tennis it takes to help her enjoy life!
On Friday, February 14th, John Henson died at his home in Saugerties, New York.
John Henson was born in Greenwich Connecticut to his parents, Jim and Jane Henson. At seven years old, he and his family moved to Bedford NY, where they lived through John’s childhood years.
At sixteen, John, with his friend, John Kahn, bought an old school house in Saugerties, New York. Kahn then trained Henson in the arts of home building, furniture design, and sculpture. These disciplines would become John Henson’s life work.
Throughout his adult life, John worked with his family’s business, The Jim Henson Company, as an accomplished puppeteer. He performed the character Sweetums from 1992 until 2003, and worked as a full-body performer inside of creatures such as the Coca Cola polar bear, among others. After Jim Henson’s death in 1990, John became a shareholder and active board member in the company, and stayed involved in The Jim Henson Company until his death.
His main life passion always returned him to his projects in Saugerties, New York. He became a master in three-dimensional spatial design. His many homes and buildings in Saugerties reflect his unique design aesthetic and his extraordinary attention to detail. Each of his buildings is an art project, an immersive experience balancing function with artistic expression. His exterior, and fine interior work, utilizing a wide range of materials; from wood, to metal, to stone, created rooms of exquisite embracing craftsmanship. At the time of his death, John Henson had owned and extensively developed many properties in Saugerties, New York.
In 1996, John met the love of his life, Gyongyi Katona, and in 1999 they gave birth to their first daughter, Katrina. Their second daughter, Sydney, was born in 2003. John was a loving, playful, and dedicated father, and was very involved in all aspects of his girls’ lives.
John’s family commented, “John had the deepest soul of any man alive; sensitive, artistic, and extremely compassionate, there was no limit to his love.”
A close friend of the family, Arthur Novell described John as, “a most remarkably kind and generous man who gave so much and asked for so little. He infused us with the light of his inquisitive mind, the spirit of his keen intellect and the genius of his talent to create. John will forever be remembered and cherished and talked about and somewhere in the Universe he will be rejoiced.”
John Henson is survived by his wife Gyongyi Henson, and his two daughters, Katrina (15 years) and Sydney (10 years), as well as his siblings, Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, and Heather.