The National Museum of American History received a new donation of more than 20 Jim Henson puppets and props on the anniversary of his birthday—Sept. 24, 1936—from the Henson family. Miss Piggy and the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show, Bert and Elmo from Sesame Street, and Red Fraggle and Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock are among the new additions. They will join the museum’s current Jim Henson Collection, which includes Oscar the Grouch, Kermit the Frog and the cast of Sam and Friends.
The west wing exhibition spaces of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History are about to undergo an extensive $37 million renovation beginning this month. The construction work on the 127,000-square-foot space will be completed by Grunley Construction Company Inc. of Rockville, Md. The Philadelphia-based architectural firm EwingCole prepared the design and engineering plans for the museum. During the estimated two-and-a-half-year construction project, the center core and east wing of the museum will remain open.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will loan its pair of the famous Ruby Slippers Judy Garland wore in the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz for six weeks. The slippers will reunite with Dorothy’s blue-and-white gingham pinafore dress in a new exhibition called “Hollywood Costume” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London opening Oct. 20. This is the first time the slippers have travelled to Europe and the first time Garland’s dress and shoes have been reunited since filming completed in 1938.
American Stories featured an engaging mix of artifacts from the museum’s vast holdings to tell stories about the country’s history. Through more than 100 objects, visitors followed a chronology spanning the Pilgrims’ 1620 arrival in Plymouth, Massachusetts, through the 2008 presidential election.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will open a signature exhibition, “American Stories,” April 12 that takes visitors on a journey through time by telling both well- and little-known stories about the American experience.