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The Smithsonian Institution

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Jims Muppets

Dr. Teeth, Jim, Kermit and Rowlf.


Sam and Friends


Cheryl Henson donated 20 more puppets and props on September 24, 2013.


Kermit the Frog puppet held by the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. holds many Henson artifacts including Kermit the Frog, Bert, Ernie, and Oscar the Grouch puppets, and parts of the original Sesame Street sets.

In May 2006, an exhibit called Muppets and Mechanisms opened at the Smithsonian. The exhibit, divided into three displays at the American History Museum, featured nine puppets from the original Sam and Friends show; a display of characters puppeteered by Jim Henson including Dr. Teeth, Rowlf the Dog, Kermit, and Jim; and animatronic figures and mechanisms from The Dark Crystal and Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. Jane Henson opened the exhibit.

Jane Henson, on behalf of the Jim Henson family, donated 10 of the original Sam and Friends puppets to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on August 25, 2010. These included the original Kermit, Pierre the French Rat, Yorick, Mushmellon, Sam, Harry the Hipster, Chicken Liver, Icky Gunk, Moldy Hay, and Professor Madcliffe.[1]

A traveling Smithsonian exhibit of Muppets opened Sept. 24, 2010 at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.[2]

Jane Henson stated in 2010 that the family plans were to donate more puppets to the Smithsonian in the future.[2] Those plans came to fruition three years later, when Cheryl Henson donated 20 more Muppet puppets and props to the National Museum of American History on September 24th, 2013 (Jim Henson's 77th birthday). Among the additions were Ernie, Bert, Elmo, Count von Count, Prairie Dawn, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, J. P. Grosse, Red Fraggle, Boober Fraggle, Uncle Traveling Matt, and Wilkins; as well as early puppet builds of Grover, Cookie Monster, and Rowlf the Dog.[3][4]


  • Oscar the Grouch makes a cameo alongside Darth Vader from Star Wars in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, a film about museum artifacts at the Smithsonian coming to life. During the film, a photo of Cookie Monster also appeared on the Smithsonian's website.
  • A stock photo of the Kermit puppet housed at the Smithsonian was used in transitions to Kermit sketches played in season 10 of Plaza Sésamo.




  1. Kermit the Frog Comes Home to Washington,, SI-368-2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 Original Kermit donated to Smithsonian Brett Zongker (Associated Press),, August 25, 2010
  3. Miss Piggy and the Muppets Settle In at the Smithsonian -; Washington Whispers, September 24, 2013
  4. The Muppets take the Smithsonian-; Becca Mitchell, September 24, 2013

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