The Museum of the Moving Image offers a different museum experience in a city with some of the greatest artists of modern history. After you’ve had a taste of Van Gogh and Picasso at the MoMA in Manhattan, it’s time to appreciate the timeless art of Jim Henson in Astoria, Queens. This trip is located well off the beaten path and is certainly one of the lesser-known museums in New York. For those with an interest in video games from the past 40 years, a passing interest in the film industry, or who have a fondness for all things practical effects, this is the place for you. The Jim Henson Experience will bring characters from the past to life and reintroduce one of the great people of the 20th century.
Today we’ve decided to give it our blessing as one of the underrated spots you need to visit on your next trip to the big apple. Our goal is simple; it’s time to put Kermit the Frog back on the map. On the top floor was the Museum’s current featured exhibit (May 2018) “A whole different Ball Game”, a celebration of 60 years of sports video games. There were many old games set up here that we could play with, including the Tennis on Commodore 64, Basewars on the original Nintendo, NBA Jam Arcades, and NFL Blitz for the Nintendo 64.
Located in the Astoria neighbourhood, it is one of the top spots to visit east of Manhattan. It’s the perfect place to escape the crowds of downtown and get away from the usual attractions. We probably could have spent a few hours upstairs playing video games all afternoon, but we only had a short time to visit the museum and they would eventually kick us out.
What makes the Museum of the Moving Image so amazing?
Kermit the frog is the main reason we came here. The Jim Henson Exhibition is a permanent feature of the museum. The collection is vast, with old props and memorabilia from the great artist’s life that have been collected here, including many of the original muppets from both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
This muppet is the most famous muppet ever created, brought to this world via the incredible mind of Jim Henson. Kermit lives here with several other muppets like Miss Piggy, the Swedish Chef, the Cookie Monster, and Big Big Bird, just to name a few. There are 47 of the original muppets on display here and it includes sketches from some of his original ideas and early work.
dedicated to the impact that Jim Henson left on the entertainment industry, and how his craft became known around the world. Alongside a team of people, Jim Henson helped to create iconic shows like the Muppet Show, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock, as well as movies such as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.
There is more to see here than just Kermit the Frog. This museum is part of the historic Kaufman Studios, where many incredible shows (including Sesame Street and Goodfellas) have been filmed since 1920. It is still in use today. The museum is a small part of the complex, which is still in use today.
“A whole different ball game”
During our visit, the featured exhibition was “A whole different ball game”, which examined the history of sports and video games over the last 60 years. This was the main reason we decided to visit the museum during this trip, as someone in the world had deemed video games as museum-worthy and we just had to see it.
This featured over 40 playable sports video games, from the original “Tennis for two” to the modern day sports franchise games like NFL, NHL and FIFA. It examines the impact these games have had on the history of sport, even examining how these games have become sports on their own, with professional leagues having emerged in recent times.
The featured exhibition showcased the evolution of video games from simple games like Tennis for Two and Pong and the story about how they evolved into being capable of interactive 3D gaming experiences, was fun to see. There are even games now that have professional players, where the art of imitating sports has become a sport itself.
The top floor of the museum is dedicated to the moving image and alongside the featured exhibition, there is a large collection of old television sets, props from movies, and old film projectors which show how drastically television and entertainment have changed. They also have many different interactive exhibitions – where you can do your own voiceover work for classic films like the Wizard of Oz – and over 1400 artifacts from the history of film.
Jim Henson Experience at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI)
Museum of the Moving Image (video):
Located in Astoria, Queens, the Museum of the Moving Image was one of the best things we did in New York. They had two main exhibits that were being featured during our visit, the “A whole different Ball Game” and the “Jim Henson Exhibition”. Located in the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios – which has been in use since the 1920s – this building is a national heritage site, and was once home to the east coast studio of Paramount Pictures. Everything from the Godfather to Sesame Street has been filmed here.
The top floor was home to their featured exhibit, which was focused on Sports Video Games over the last 60 years. This included early games like Pong and Tennis for Two, to early console systems like the Commodore 64 and Nintendo all the way up to modern day video games. They also had a lot of early filming equipment, television sets and props from movies. Many of these displays (including the videos games) were interactive. One floor down is the permanent feature at the museum, and features work from the great Jim Henson, who helped create both the Muppets and Sesame Street, and many of the original muppets were on display.