Hard Hat Safari

iola theatre restoration exterior Want a sneak peek at an amazing project to bring a 1930′s art deco theatre back tomlife? Join African Adventurer– Elephant Conservationist– Movie Preservationist Dick Houston for a “Hard Hat” tour of the historic Iola Theatre on Thursday, April 24 at 7PM!  This is your chance to check out the progress made inside the theatre and to learn about film and theatre preservation from an internationally-known man of adventure!

Wear sturdy shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting dusty! There’s no admission fee, but donations to the Iola Theatre Restoration Fund are cheerfully accepted!


iola theatre rstoration





FREE Art Adventures at The Safari Museum

Osa Johnson wrote several children’s books filled with photographs and illustrations that brought her stories to life.   One of the illustrators of Osa’s Jungle series childrens books was an artist named Margaret Flinsch, and it’s her drawing of a lion chasing giraffe that the museum uses as our logo today.
Logo 2014 -1-

In keeping with that creative spirit of teaming literature with art, the museum is pleased to present  Learning to Draw: Gateway to Illustrating.  This four session drawing class for adults will be led by artist Marion Bryant.


As a kick off to the series, on Saturday April 5th from 10-3pm the museum will be open FREE to the public and Marion will be onsite for an “Artist in Action” program where she will demonstrate & show examples of techniques our classes will cover.


Here are two examples Marion has created while sketching in the museum’s West African galleries. The artifact is an eighty-five pound, carved wood headdress with a ground stone patina. It was designed to be danced atop an elaborate costume in festivals and ceremonies traditional to the Baga peoples of the coastal regions.



Saturday May 3rd, 10am-12/break/12:45-2:45: Introductions; Line & Form

Saturday May 17th, 10am-12/break/12:45-2:45: Value & Perspective

Saturday May 31st, 10am-12/break/12:45-2:45: Composition: Art & Story

Saturday June 7th, 10am-12/break/12:45-2:45: Ready to Frame; Guest Author, Jane Landreth will join us to discuss getting books with illustrations ready to be published.

This series is free thanks to a Wal-Mart Community Grant; registration for class supplies is required by May 1st!  For more detailed class information call museum curator Jacquelyn Borgeson at 620-431-2730.




“Safari Travelogue Speaker Series 2014″

1863 Johnson 44 venez colo

Join us one evening a month to explore other lands through the tales, photographs & artifacts presented by travelogue speakers at the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum.  These programs will be free to the public and light refreshments will be served.

The next scheduled speakers were Dr. Richard and Karol Good, who plan to discuss their trip to Peru.  Due to an illness, we’ll be scheduling their program in late May.

Paul and Connie Slaughter will be on hand Thursday May 15 for their program about Japan, Hawaii, and Itally.  Doors open at 6:45, program begins at 7pm.

New Johnson Biography

Across the World with the Johnsons: Visual Culture and American Empire in the Twentieth Century
Prue Ahrens, Lamont Lindstrom and Fiona Paisley
Ashgate, November 2013.


During the interwar period Osa and Martin Johnson became famous for their films that brought exotic and far-off locations to the American cinema. Before the advent of mass tourism and television, their films played a major part in providing the means by which large audiences in the US and beyond became familiar with distant and ‘wild’ places across the world. Taking the celebrity of the Johnsons as its case study, this book investigates the influence of these new forms of visual culture, showing how they created their own version of America’s imperial drama. By representing themselves as benevolent figures engaged in preserving on film the world’s last wild places and peoples, the Johnsons’ films educated U.S. audiences about their apparent destiny to rule, contributing significantly to the popularity of empire.

Bringing together research in the fields of film and politics – including gender and empire, historical anthropology, photography and visual studies – this book provides a comprehensive evaluation of the Johnsons, their work and its impact. It considers the Johnsons as a celebrity duo, their status as national icons, how they promoted themselves and their expeditions, and how their careers informed American expansionism, thus providing the first scholarly investigation of this remarkable couple and their extensive output over nearly three decades and across several continents.