Friday, August 19, 2011

Paper Obsessed No. 2 - I Married Adventure

I'm obsessed with two books I own. The story inside is remarkable, but what caused me to covet these books until I was able to obtain them was the book spines themselves. I Married Adventure, 1940 and Four Years in Paradise, 1941 have fabulous zebra and giraffe designed spines and you know me and animal print.

In the first half of the 20th century an American couple, Martin and Osa Johnson—from Lincoln, Kansas and Chanute, Kansas, respectively—captured the public's imagination through their films and books of adventure in exotic, faraway lands. Photographers, explorers, marketers, 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 film footage and photographs, offering many Americans their first understanding of these distant lands.

This is not a shelf book. It is an accessory to be displayed. Character in a room.

There is so much story just in this one photograph. Are you seeing the hat, the crisp white shirt, the leather saddle, the binoculars... all on top of a zebra? I could design a whole suite around the inspiration from just this one photograph.

Such style, Osa had - loving her painted plane!

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.

Images/Sources:  Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum, Paris Hotel Boutique

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