News-to-Us: Archival Gifts & Artifact Donations
Special Exhibition showing February-May
In 2017, we were gifted an online newspaper service subscription and so far we have accumulated over 12,000 new articles concerning Martin and Osa. The collection includes newspaper coverage from all 50 states and 4 foreign countries. We are not even close to the end of the new finds, but we have already discovered a wealth of previously unknown information, especially concerning the Johnson’s non-safari travels and background material on objects from around the world in our collection.
In this exhibition, and throughout the museum, we have reprinted a selection of the new-to-us archives, teamed when possible, with recent press photo donations or newly gifted artifacts. Recent artifact donations in this exhibition include a pair of Osa Johnson’s Congo Gloves plus advertisements and magazine articles for the archives from Heidi Crabtree of (NC?), a Masai Wedding Skirt from Brooks Goddard of (Massachusetts?) , examples of dummy casings showing an assortment of calibers used by Martin and Osa, plus a collection of Metro Pictures Publicity stills and correspondence, both donated by Cal Pappas of Alaska, a selection of 83 Denver Post press photographs from the estate of Edward and Cordelia Plymell of Colorado, and Unmarried Pokot Girls Collars collected by Lloyd Zimmer during a summer 2017 trip to retrace Martin and Osa’s route to Lake Paradise.
In addition to the new gifts, we have also incorporated a number of stored core collections that have direct ties to either the new archival materials or the recent artifact donations. These include Metro Film posters to match to the Pappas collection, a giraffe hide water bucket from the singing Wells around Lake Paradise to highlight the new Johnsonian-related Kenyan artifacts, and Osa’s beloved Belgian Congo carvings that were featured in stories about her as an author in dozens of the new to us news articles. The carvings, in their original display frame, were featured in Osa’s TV series and were among the first objects donated to, and displayed permanently at, the original museum site in the Santa Fe Freight Office from 1961-1993. This is the first exhibition of them at the depot facility and for the exhibition we have teamed them with articles mentioning the artifacts plus a publicity still from collections of Osa posing with them in her NYC apartment.
This exhibition opened at our annual NIGHT at the MUSEUM event and will run through May. Keep checking our website and Facebook page for more information on a number of tie-in events we have planned throughout the show’s run.