Recognized as an organization of excellence, both nationally and internationally, the Center for Puppetry Arts was originally opened to the public when Kermit and Jim Henson cut the ribbon in 1978. Centered around Henson’s whimsical creations, the Center is a place to inspire imagination, educate, and encourage participation in the global art of puppetry. The expansion of the institution was a process 8 years in the making. In 2014, kubik maltbie was chosen to renovate and expand the exhibit gallery to 7,500 square feet. The expansion split the museum in two, creating the Jim Henson Tribute and Collection and the Global Collection.
The Henson collection includes artifacts from his office, Sesame Street, and projects such as the Dark Crystal. Guests are encouraged to enter the Muppet Workshop and explore the boxes and drawers full of Muppet features, like eyes and noses, to build the fun adventurous creatures, then imagine new muppet stories in the television studio. The Global Collection educates visitors to the world of puppetry beyond Western characters, celebrating traditions from major cultures around the world with traditional puppets, including marionettes and shadow puppets on display from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
Pulling Some Strings and Staying on Budget
kubik maltbie’s scope of work included the detailing, fabrication, and installation of exhibit casework, interactives, AV hardware integration, and graphics. Since project completion, museum attendance has dramatically increased and the center continues to receive positive reviews about the engaging design, unique interactives, and overall exhibit content.