About Martin and Osa Johnson
Taken from Martin & Osa Johnson Safari Museum web
In the first half of the 20th century an American
couple from Kansas named Martin and Osa Johnson captured the public's
imagination through their films and books of adventure in exotic, far-away
naturalists and authors, Martin and Osa studied the wildlife and peoples of
East and Central Africa, the South Pacific Islands and British North Borneo...They explored
then unknown lands and brought
back knowledge of cultures thousands of miles away through their films,
writings and lectures.
From 1917-1936, the Johnsons set up camp in some of the
most remote areas of the world and provided an unmatched photographic record of
the wildernesses of Kenya, the Congo, British North Borneo and the Solomon and
New Hebrides Islands...Their equipment was
the most advanced motion pictures apparatus of the day, some of it designed by
Martin Johnson himself.
When the young adventurers left their home in Kansas to
explore and photograph these lands, little did they realize that they would
provide the world with a photographic record of the African game of unimagined
magnitude and beauty...The Johnsons gave the
filmmakers and researchers of today an important source of ethnological and
zoological material which would otherwise have been lost.
Their photographs represent one of the great
contributions to the pictorial history of the world...Their
films serve to document a wilderness that has long since vanished, tribal
cultures and customs that ceased to exist.
Through popular movies
such as SIMBA (1928) and BABOONA (1935) and best-selling books
still in print such as I Married Adventure (1940), Martin and
Osa popularized camera safaris and an interest in African wildlife conservation
for generations of Americans...Their legacy
is a record of the animals and cultures of many remote areas of the world which
have undergone significant changes.
outstanding accomplishments and legacy of Martin and Osa Johnson - their films,
photographs, expedition reports, correspondence and personal memorabilia - are
housed here at The Martin and Osa Johnson Museum.