See some classic Muppet mementos with our virtual tour of Jim Henson's office

Jim Henson and his signature creation, Kermit the Frog, on the set of The Muppet Show (Photo: TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)
Jim Henson and his signature creation, Kermit the Frog, on the set of The Muppet Show (Photo: TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

When Jim Henson was your father, almost every day was Take Your Child to Work Day. "He would take us to work with him all the time," confirms Brian Henson, the son of the famed Muppeteer and filmmaker, who would have celebrated his 85th birthday this year. (Henson died in 1990.) "He actually had a couple of offices," adds Lisa Henson, the eldest of the five Henson siblings and current CEO of The Jim Henson Company. "When I was a really young child, I went to visit him in an office that was dominated by the puppet building space. I spent a lot of time in the Muppet workshop watching all the artistry of the people building puppets."

That office that Henson remembers from her childhood no longer exists, but a version of her father's workspace is preserved at the Center for the Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia. And now you can visit Jim Henson's office from your couch with Yahoo Entertainment's exclusive augmented reality experience, which features audio narration from Brian and Lisa Henson guiding you around the virtual space. You can also get a close-up look at a puppet that Brian and his father worked closely on together — the talking dog from the classic '80s series The Storyteller.

Click and scroll in the window below to explore 3D scans of Jim Henson's office and The StoryTeller dog and hear Brian Henson talk about his father:

Scan the code to launch this experience in augmented reality

Not surprisingly, Muppet memorabilia is plentiful throughout the space. For example, on Henson's desk — though not his original desk, which sits in Lisa's office — is a metal figure of Kermit the Frog, the puppeteer's signature character. "There was a period where my dad was doing metal sculpture and it was crazy," Brian remembers, laughing. "He'd be working the longest hours of anyone, but he'd also be doing metal sculpture at home in the garage."

When Henson wasn't building puppets or sculpting metal, his son remembers him scribbling in a notebook just like the pink-and-white striped one that sits in the foreground of the desk. "During meetings, he would doodle all the time," Brian says. "Sometimes you'd look at his notes and it was just ridiculous doodles! But other times he was also designing characters. He was always, always scribbling away."

1986:  Portrait of American puppeteer Jim Henson (1936 - 1990) sitting in a theater chair in front of a painting of his creation, The Muppets.  (Photo by Nancy R. Schiff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jim Henson sitting in a theater chair in front of a painting of his creation, The Muppets, in 1986 (Photo by Nancy R. Schiff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Even though Lisa recalls her father not being a particularly serious reader, the office bookshelf is filled with a variety of books, including a collection of Walt Kelly's Pogo strips— one of her father's favorite comics. "Pogo was his favorite," she says, also citing The Wizard of Id and Peanuts as being popular in the Henson home. "He loved illustrators, and his favorite books were those kinds of funny, droll, interesting books."

The bookcase also holds some of the many awards that Henson won in his lifetime. According to his daughter, those statues always stayed at the office. "He didn't bring them home: I think he felt that he was sharing those awards with his co-workers and with the company in general. So even if he earned it, it was displayed at work. The awards were for the company."

Both Brian and Lisa appear as children in some of the photos that line the office walls, including a snapshot of the entire family on a ski trip in Vermont. "My dad wanted to learn skiing with us, and the first time was at Stratton Mountain," Brian recalls. "Those were great trips, but it was always viciously cold! The best part was stopping so that we could have hot chocolate and warm our feet up. But that was the one family activity we did as a group — our thing was skiing."

Jim Henson and Frank Oz model Bert and Ernie puppets in 'Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street' (Photo by Robert Fuhring/Courtesy Sundance Institute)
Jim Henson and Frank Oz model Bert and Ernie puppets in the recent documentary Street Gang (Photo by Robert Fuhring/Courtesy Sundance Institute)

Two of the Henson kids' favorite mementos can be found at the top of the office wall. On the left-hand side lives a needlepoint picture of Sesame Street's beloved duo, Bert and Ernie, which was crafted by their Aunt Bobby. "She did tons and tons of needlepoint," Brian says. "That portrait would have been done early on, because it was right on the heels of Sesame Street premiering in 1969. The whole needlepoint thing sort of took off in our house after that. I actually did some bad ones, too!"

As for that moose head that's prominently displayed next to Bert and Ernie, Lisa says that piece of paper mache art was a fixture in her dad's real office from her visit onwards. "I don't remember his office without that moose head," she says, chuckling. "It's been around this whole time. When we did projects at home as young kids, sometimes we would do these paper mache with that kind of look and feel — you know, psychedelic colors and really retaining like that brightly-colored palette. I feel like our inspiration was as much about that beautiful color scheme, as it was about the fact of a funny moose head being on his wall!"

Muppet character Gonzo is pictured with Lisa Henson (L) CEO of The Jim Henson Company and her brother Brian Henson, chairman of The Jim Henson Company during ceremonies honoring the Muppets with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Lisa Henson and Brian Henson at a 2012 ceremony honoring the Muppets with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

As adults, both Lisa and Brian Henson worked alongside their father on the sets of such films as The Dark Crystal and the fantasy favorite, Labyrinth. Brian Henson also took a leading role in The StoryTeller, the fondly-remembered TV series that aired in both England the U.S. in 1987. John Hurt played the title character, who recounted famous folk stories and myths to the audience, while his faithful canine friend (performed and voiced by Brian) listened along... and commented on the action. According to Henson, the dog's running commentary wasn't part of the original conception for the series.

"The funny part of that story is that my dad and [producer] Duncan Kenworthy found this new writer who was really talented named Anthony Minghella," Henson says, referring to the future Oscar-winner behind The English Patient. "Anthony wrote a script, and my dad's first note back to Anthony was, 'The dog talks?!' Anthony was taken aback: he was like, 'You're Jim Henson, so I assumed you wanted a talking dog.'"

"In the end, my dad really loved it because what I was able to do with the dog was constantly sort of criticize the Storyteller," Henson continues. "I'd tell him, 'I don't think you're getting it right.' He's like the other voice to the Storyteller who knows everything about him. It's like they were kids together: he was a puppy when the storyteller was a little boy, and they've been together forever."

While the Storyteller's dog may look like relatively a simple puppet, Henson says that at the time it was a radical experiment in animatronics for the company. "We designed a control that I could use with my hand that wasn't in the dog's head. So I would have my right hand in the head, and then my left hand would work this incredibly complicated hand control that had triggers on every finger, and I could twist the whole thing on two axes. That was a development that made it possible for us to do Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dinosaurs later on."

Since their father's death thirty-one years ago, both Henson siblings have carried on his legacy as creators of their own. Lisa Henson oversaw the recent Netflix prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, while Brian Henson has produced and directed a number of different Henson-branded projects, including the sci-fi series Farscape and the animated series, Sid the Science Kid. "My father is so well-remembered, not just by my family, but by the whole country," Brian says. "So I feel that he's very much a part of us — always."

Jim Henson's office is on display at the Center for the Puppetry Arts.