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Heidi Arnhold
Heidi Arnhold

22 Rocking Pieces of Fraggle Rock Fan Art

Heidi Arnhold
Heidi Arnhold

Jim Henson’s cave-dwelling Fraggle Rock critters hit the big 3-0 this year. In celebration, here are a few fun pieces of fan art celebrating those who “let the music play down in Fraggle Rock.”

1. Gobo In Carbonite

As the most adventurous Fraggle, it’s only fitting that Gobo would be the Han Solo of the group. And with that kind of a reputation, you have to expect the occasional carbonite freezing. As artist Phraggle points out, this would be a perfect wall display for the despicable Wander McMooch.

2. Doozers On Death Stars

Doozers are always building something, and live to construct massive structures. Artist James Hance has a point here—Darth would have done himself a favor if he hired these dedicated workers to build the Death Star. It’s doubtful the Rebels would have had a chance to destroy the structure before the Doozers completed their job! In a more patriotic look at the Doozers, Hance also had them raise the flag at Iwo Jima.

3. Sgt. Mokey’s Happy Hearts Club Band

James Hance has no shortage of Henson creatures in his “relentlessly cheerful art.” Aside from this great Fraggle-y take on The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper looks, he also has a take on Firefly featuring a variety of Muppets as well as Red and Wembley as Zoe and Wash, respectively.

4. A Hard Doozer’s Night

Hance isn’t the only artist to envision the Fraggles as The Beatles. Here’s the earlier incarnation of the band by DeviantArt user TheRogueSPiDER.

5. Keep Away From Sharp Rocks

James Hance’s “Firefrog” piece is precisely what inspired balloon artist Susanne Ritchie of Black Cat Balloon Company to create this delightful Wembley balloon sculpture.

6. Poor Little Boober

These days, much of the best Fraggle Rock art is actually created specifically for Archaia's Fraggle Rock comic. This great piece featuring a terrified Boober was created as a cover for the comic by DeviantArt user mooncalfe, who also had a 5-page story in the issue.

7. Full Metal Henson

When Red goes crazy, you’d better hit the deck … at least, that is assuming she goes postal like she has in this design by DeviantArt user zillford.

8. The Expedition

Another big source of Fraggle art as of late has been the Threadless design contest in honor of the show’s 30th anniversary. While DeviantArt user Lazesummerstone’s piece didn’t win the contest, it’s still delightful—particularly in the way that it manages to show off the individual personalities of the show’s five main characters.

9. Down At Fraggle Rock

While the show’s viewers know that Fraggle Rock has three exits and what they all connect to, it’s still quite fascinating to see all of the main species and characters involved in the show in one image. While DeviantArt user HeidiArnhold originally created this piece as part of the Threadless design challenge, it certainly stands up on its own merits as well.

10. Fragglecology

Here’s another view of the world of Fraggle Rock, and though this one doesn’t feature Marjory the trash heap, it does show how the Fraggle Rock ecosystem works. Essentially, DeviantArt user lazesummerstone has depicted the Fraggles' circle of life.

11. Getting Inside The Fraggles

Looking for more Fraggle science? How about an anatomy lesson? DeviantArt user Negaduck9 created this depiction of a Fraggle’s skeletal structure, noting that “No Fraggles were harmed in the making of this image, despite it looking like something exhumed from the back of Junior Gorg's garden. A Fraggle simply fell asleep while waiting in line at the airport and got slipped through the X-ray machine.”

12. My Little Fragglies

What would the five main Fraggles look like as My Little Ponies? Negaduck9 seems to have a pretty good idea, even down to their personalized cutie marks. She has also created an image showing Derpy Hooves, the My Little Pony, as a Fraggle. She even drew a self-portrait as a Fraggle.

13. Real Fraggles

Obviously, the Fraggles on TV are cute little puppets made by Jim Henson. DeviantArt user Pristichampsus has a good idea as to what they look like in the real world, and while the result is interesting, it’s not nearly as cute.

14. The Newest Fraggle

While most fan art involves paintings, drawings or some kind of digital art, DeviantArt user Tanglewood-Thicket’s puppet is particularly fitting. Couldn’t you just see this cutie dancing away next to Mokey?

15. A Rainbow of Fraggles

When you’re working with creatures this colorful, putting them together in a rainbow of colors is only logical. DeviantArt user real-faker’s design is particularly charming in that although it is digital, it almost looks like an intricate paper sculpture.

16. Laundry Day

If Fraggles generally only wear shirts and are covered in a thick layer of body fluff, then are they still technically naked in this design by DeviantArt user aerinsol?

17. Fraggles vs. Minions

It looks like DeviantArt user Petzrick was imagining what would happen if the Fraggles encountered the apocalypse, but it’s actually the artist’s mashup between Fraggle Rock and the children’s horror film, The Gate. He says he imagines the evil minions as the total opposite of Fraggles, who are inherently good.

18. FragOl

Artist James Farr did a fantastic job merging Fraggle Rock and Portal in this fantastic mashup. Just imagine how much easier it would be for them to steal radishes from the Gorgs if they had a Portal Gun on their side.

19. Doozer Propaganda

Even hard workers like doozers need a little motivation now and then, and if it happens to come in the form of propaganda posters, then so be it. DeviantArt user mightyfilm does bring up an interesting observation with this piece though—doozers seem to not earn any financial rewards for all their hard work, so are they communists?

20. Doozers Do!

Here’s another propaganda-style poster for doozers, this one even more communist than the last. DeviantArt user duktoonz said this piece was inspired by the doozer toys on his desk that help keep him motivated to work all day long.

21. Doozers Just Wanna Have Fun

Maybe they aren’t communists at all. Maybe doozers really do just think work is the most fun activity in the world, so they’re always living it up. Either way, it sure is nice to see a doozer have as much fun as the one in this piece by DeviantArt user xanderthurteen.

22. Smell Like A Fraggle

While it might not technically be art, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has created their own tribute to the Fraggles—signature scents. Gobo's cologne has notes of pink grapefruit and vanilla cream, Uncle Traveling Matt features dark chocolate, figgy vanilla and pear, and Red smells like sweet red currant, tangy cranberry, pink musk, and spicy pink pepper.

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© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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Animals
Boston's Museum of Fine Arts Hires Puppy to Sniff Out Art-Munching Bugs
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
© Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Some dogs are qualified to work at hospitals, fire departments, and airports, but one place you don’t normally see a pooch is in the halls of a fine art museum. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is changing that: As The Boston Globe reports, a young Weimaraner named Riley is the institution’s newest volunteer.

Even without a background in art restoration, Riley will be essential in maintaining the quality of the museum's masterpieces. His job is to sniff out the wood- and canvas-munching pests lurking in the museum’s collection. During the next few months, Riley will be trained to identify the scents of bugs that pose the biggest threat to the museum’s paintings and other artifacts. (Moths, termites, and beetles are some of the worst offenders.)

Some infestations can be spotted with the naked eye, but when that's impossible, the museum staff will rely on Riley to draw attention to the problem after inspecting an object. From there, staff members can examine the piece more closely and pinpoint the source before it spreads.

Riley is just one additional resource for the MFA’s existing pest control program. As far as the museum knows, it's rare for institutions facing similar problems to hire canine help. If the experiment is successful, bug-sniffing dogs may become a common sight in art museums around the world.

[h/t The Boston Globe]

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Image courtesy of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum. Photography by Evi Numen 2017.
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History
Mütter Museum Showcases the Victorian Custom of Making Crafts From Human Hair
Palette work from the collection of John Whitenight and Frederick LaValley
Palette work from the collection of John Whitenight and Frederick LaValley
Image courtesy of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum. Photography by Evi Numen 2017.

During the Victorian era, hair wasn’t simply for heads. People wove clipped locks into elaborate accessories, encased them in frames and lockets, and used them to make wreaths, paintings, and other items. "Woven Strands," a new exhibition at Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum, explores this historical practice by featuring dozens of intricate works culled from five private collections.

According to Emily Snedden Yates, special projects manager at the Mütter Museum, hair work—as it’s called today—was common in England and America between the 17th and early 20th centuries. The popularity of the practice peaked in the 19th century, thanks in part to Queen Victoria’s prolonged public mourning after her husband Prince Albert’s death in 1861. People in both the UK and U.S. responded to her grief, with the latter country also facing staggering death tolls from the Civil War.

With loss of life at the forefront of public consciousness, elaborate mourning customs developed in both nations, and hair work became part of the culture of bereavement. "[The 19th century was] such a sentimental age, and hair is about sentiment," exhibition co-curator Evan Michelson tells Mental Floss. That sentimental quality made hair work fit for both mourning practices as well as for romantic or familiar displays of fondness.

Palette work culled from the collection of Evan Michelson and featured in the Mütter Museum's "Woven Strands" exhibition.
Palette work from the collection of Evan Michelson
Image courtesy of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum. Photography by Evi Numen 2017.

Most hair artworks were made by women, and created solely for the domestic sphere or as wearable trinkets. Women relied on multiple techniques to create these objects, fashioning wreaths with hair-wrapped bendable wires—a process called gimp work—and dissolving ground hair into pigments used to paint images of weeping willows, urns, and grave sites. Watch fobs, necklaces, and bracelets were woven using an approach called table work, which involved anchoring hair filaments with lead weights onto a table and using tools to twist them into intricate patterns through a hole in the furniture’s surface. Yet another technique, palette work, involved stenciled sheets of hair that were cut into various shapes and patterns.

Hair work remained popular until World War I, according to Michelson, who co-owns New York City's quirky Obscura Antiques and Oddities shop and organized "Woven Strands" along with 19th century decorative arts expert John Whitenight.

“Women hit the workforce, and death occurred on such a huge scale that it really swept away the old way of mourning and the old way of doing things,” Michelson says. By the early 20th century, tastes and aesthetics had also changed, with hair work beginning to be viewed “as something grandma had,” she explains.

The Mütter’s exhibition aside, people typically won’t see hair work in major museums. Being a craft primarily performed by women at home, hair works were usually passed down in families and often viewed as worthless from a financial and artistic perspective.

“A lot of hair work was discarded,” Michelson says. Many owners repurposed the shadowbox frames often used to display hair work by removing and tossing the artworks within. Works stored in basements and attics also frequently succumbed to water damage and insects. Antique dealers today typically only see hair jewelry, which often featured semi-precious materials or was encased in a protective layer.

Sepia dissolved hair culled from the collection of Jennifer Berman and featured in the Mütter Museum's "Woven Strands" exhibition.
Sepia dissolved hair from the collection of Jennifer Berman
Image courtesy of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum. Photography by Evi Numen 2017.

Yet examples of hair wreaths, palette work, and other delicate heirlooms do occasionally surface. They’re prized by a small group of avid collectors, even though other connoisseurs can be grossed out by them.

“People have this visceral reaction to it,” Michelson says. “They either gasp and adore it—like ‘I can’t get over how amazing it is’—or they just back away. There are very few other things where people are repulsed like this … In the 19th century no one batted an eyelash.”

“It’s a personal textile,” Snedden Yates explains. “It’s kind of like bone in that it doesn’t really decompose at the same rate as the rest of our bodies do. It’s not made of tissue, so if you keep it in the right environment it can be maintained indefinitely.”

Table work culled from the collection of Eden Daniels and featured in the Mütter Museum's "Woven Strands" exhibition.
Table work from the collection of Eden Daniels
Image courtesy of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum. Photography by Evi Numen 2017.

“Woven Strands” features examples of gimp work, palette work, table work, and dissolved hair work. It’s often hard to trace these types of artworks back to their original creators—they typically don’t bear signatures—but the curators “really wanted to find hair that you could connect to an actual human being,” Michelson says. “We chose pieces that have provenance. We know where they came from or when it was made, or who actually donated the hair in some cases, or what the family name was. We also picked out things that are unusual, that you don’t see often—oddities, if you will.”

Woven hair culled from the collection of Jennifer Berman and featured in the Mütter Museum's "Woven Strands" exhibition.
Woven hair from the collection of Jennifer Berman
Image courtesy of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum. Photography by Evi Numen 2017.

Displayed in the Mütter Museum’s Thomson Gallery, “Woven Strands” opens on January 19, 2018, and runs through July 12, 2018. On April 7, 2018, master jeweler and art historian Karen Bachmann will lead a 19th century hair art workshop, followed by a day-long historical symposium on the art on Sunday, April 8.

Michelson hopes that “Woven Strands” will teach future generations about hair art, and open their minds to a craft they might have otherwise dismissed as parochial or, well, weird. “We hope that people see it and fall in love with it,” she says.

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