Visit the Maryland Room in June and take a peek at some of our favorite items in from our Children’s Television Workshop records. The exhibition will be on display now through the end of July. Visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library during open hours to see it in person.
Fan mail and artwork
Administrative and production documents
We were inspired by our peers at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library and their exhibition about Jim Henson and thought we would share some related material. After you finish checking out this material on display in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library, visit the Clarice to learn more about Jim Henson and his time at Maryland.
Jim Henson and Sesame Street
In 1966, a public television producer named Joan Ganz Cooney, began work on a ground-breaking educational children’s television show called Sesame Street that would premiere in 1969. Based on Jim’s creative reputation, Cooney asked him to create a family of characters to populate Sesame Street. These characters-Ernie and Bert, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Cookie Monster, and of course the 8-foot-2 Big Bird-continue to entertain and educate today, more than 35 years later. Working with Children’s Television Workshop (recently renamed Sesame Workshop) on Sesame Street, Jim also had the opportunity to continue experimenting with film techniques. Together with his talented team, Jim produced more than two dozen live action and animated shorts that are still teaching children how to count, learn the alphabet and master other educational concepts.
Inspired! Jim Henson at Maryland, an exhibit exploring Jim Henson’s experience as a student, artist, and entrepreneur at UMD from 1954-1960.
The exhibit provides a window into the profound impact Henson’s experiences on campus, both in the classroom and in his extra-curricular activities, had on his creative and professional development, laying the foundation for a remarkable career that included the creation of the Muppets and beyond. Featured are 25 pieces of original art created by Jim Henson (1936-1990), theatrical programs and ephemera, photographs, and an interactive digital archive of Henson’s sketchbooks, student projects, and press clippings from The Jim Henson Company Archives, Special Collections in Performing Arts, and the University Archives. Video clips from the 1950s and 1960s demonstrate the breadth of Henson’s genius, already evident in his early work on local Washington television.
Post by Laura Cleary, Instruction and Outreach Librarian for Special Collections and University Archives