A Dark Crystal Exhibition Just Opened in Atlanta

The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company / The Jim Henson Company

With its mix of puppetry and gruesome characters, Jim Henson’s 1982 fantasy flick The Dark Crystal was an unlikely success. Although it received a somewhat lukewarm reception at first, the movie has since become a cult hit—so much so that Netflix is working on a prequel entitled The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

The 10-episode series is expected to premiere later this year, but in the meantime, the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, has something to tide fans over. An exhibition entitled “Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic,” featuring more than 50 props and artifacts from the movie, recently opened to the public, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Chris Hunt Photography, Center for Puppetry Arts
Chris Hunt Photography, Center for Puppetry Arts

Guests will have the chance to check out some animatronic prototypes of Dark Crystal characters, as well as original puppets used in the film. The Gelfling hero Jen and UrAc the scribe make an appearance, as does a fiberglass skull of one of the Skeksis. Original paintings and drawings by artist Brian Froud, who served as the film’s conceptual designer, are also on view.

Visitors might be surprised to see how large some of the puppets are. The film was made before Henson switched to remote-control puppets, and their sheer size made some of the characters unwieldy to operate. The Skeksis puppets, for instance, required four people to control the rods and wires that made them move.

Chris Hunt Photography, Center for Puppetry Arts

This isn’t the first time a museum has set out to dedicate an exhibition to Henson’s work. The Museum of the Moving Image in New York City launched a campaign last year to raise funds for a permanent Jim Henson exhibition. To date, the museum has raised more than $144,000 on Kickstarter.

The Center for Puppetry Arts's Dark Crystal exhibition will remain on view through the winter. Tickets can be purchased online.

[h/t The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]