Bonnie Erickson

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Bonnie Erickson
Bonnieerickson.jpg
BornSeptember 20, 1941
Anoka, Minnesota
EducationUniversity of Minnesota, Art Students League of New York
Occupationdesigner of puppets, costumes, toys, and graphics
Spouse(s)
Leslie Lewis (m. 1963–1975)

Wayde Harrison (m. 1977)

Bonnie Erickson (born September 20, 1941) is an American designer of puppets, costumes, toys, and graphics, best known for her work with Jim Henson and The Muppets where her most notable creations include Miss Piggy, Statler and Waldorf, and as a partner in Harrison/Erickson, the Major League Baseball mascot the Phillie Phanatic.

Biography[edit]

Jim Henson Company and The Muppets[edit]

Erickson began her career with a background in theater and art, having studied at the University of Minnesota and the Art Students League of New York. After working in legitimate theater as assistant to costume designer Patricia Quinn Stewart, she was hired by Jim Henson in 1970 to provide costumes for the Muppet characters in The Frog Prince. She continued with the company, specializing in puppets made from carved foam like Miss Piggy and Statler and Waldorf.[1][2]

Erickson served as Head of the Muppet Workshop for Jim Henson Associates, and set up the original London workshop for The Muppet Show.[3]

In 1983, Erickson served as Design Consultant and Workshop Director for the Jim Henson series Fraggle Rock.

In 1986, Erickson became Vice President of Creative Projects for The Jim Henson Company in which she worked on productions such as The Tale of the Bunny Picnic and The Christmas Toy.

Erickson served as a Creative Director for the product division of The Jim Henson Company and Children's Television Workshop from 1987 to 2000, in which time she art directed the creation of the popular children's toy Tickle Me Elmo.[4][5]

Harrison/Erickson, Inc.[edit]

In 1977, she and Wayde Harrison established Harrison/Erickson, Inc., a design and marketing resource for national sports teams, television production and the advertising and toy industries, with Jim Henson Associates as their first client.[6]

Erickson designed many professional sports mascots, including the Phillie Phanatic and Youppi!, now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.[7][8]

The Jim Henson Legacy[edit]

In 1994, Erickson became a trustee of the Jim Henson Legacy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Jim Henson’s contributions to the worlds of puppetry, television, motion pictures, special effects and media technology. From 2007 to 2010, she served as President, and then Executive Director until 2014. During her tenure, she oversaw the Henson Family collection of objects from Henson productions at the Smithsonian Institution, Center for Puppetry Arts, Museum of the Moving Image, The Strong, and Museum of Pop Culture.[9]

Erickson was also instrumental in the installation of a statue of Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog at the University of Maryland. The caricature Muppet of Jim Henson she created inspired the action figure by Palisades Toys.[10]

Erickson's notable credits[edit]

The Muppets[edit]

Mascots[edit]

Phillie Phanatic, originally designed by Bonnie Erickson in 1978
  • Dandy, mascot for New York Yankees (1981-1985)
  • Pirate Pete, mascot for Delaware River & Bridge Authority (1995-present)

Advertising clients[edit]

Notable toy and product manufacturer clients[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Brian Jay (September 24, 2013). Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books. pp. 186–187. ISBN 978-0-345-52611-3.
  2. ^ Traubman, Eleanor. "From Muppets to Mascots: The Incredible Journey of Bonnie Erickson". Creative Times. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  3. ^ Jones, Brian Jay (September 24, 2013). Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-345-52611-3.
  4. ^ Roe, Ryan. "An Interview with Bonnie Erickson". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  5. ^ Jones, Brian Jay (September 24, 2013). Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books. pp. 208–209. ISBN 978-0-345-52611-3.
  6. ^ Jones, Brian Jay (September 24, 2013). Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books. p. 276. ISBN 978-0-345-52611-3.
  7. ^ Rubin, Mike. "Master of Puppets". Victory Journal.
  8. ^ Jarvis, Robert M. (May 23, 2002). "Hi-Jinks at the Ballpark: Costumed Mascots in the Major Leagues". Cardozo Law Review. 23 (5).
  9. ^ Gupta, Anika. "The Woman Behind Miss Piggy". Smithsonian.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  10. ^ Roe, Ryan. "An Interview with Bonnie Erickson". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  11. ^ Falk, Karen (October 26, 2012). Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal. Chronicle Books. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-4521-0582-6.
  12. ^ Falk, Karen (October 26, 2012). Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal. Chronicle Books. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-4521-0582-6.
  13. ^ a b Finch, Christopher (1981). Of Muppets & Men. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-52085-8.
  14. ^ Falk, Karen (October 26, 2012). Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal. Chronicle Books. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-4521-0582-6.
  15. ^ Roe, Ryan. "An Interview with Bonnie Erickson". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  16. ^ Falk, Karen (October 26, 2012). Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal. Chronicle Books. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-4521-0582-6.
  17. ^ a b c Hennes, Joe. "Bonnie Erickson - Career timeline". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.

External links[edit]