The Real Martin + Osa

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Behind most great concepts is a great story. Before Martin + Osa stores, there were the real Martin and Osa Johnson, an American couple from Kansas who ventured in then unknown lands. The Johnson's shared their experiences with the world through photos, lectures and films. From 1917-1936 they captured African life offering many Americans their first understanding of these distant lands.  Their contributions were so magnificent that a museum was built to honor them in their hometown of Chanute, Kansas.

Oh how wonderful to experience such exciting travels and adventures!

Martin, Martin's father, unidentified man and Osa
Africa, 1921

Zebra along the Ol Gueri River 
Africa, 1921

Osa with ostrich eggs
Africa, 1928

To learn more about Martin and Osa, visit the Safari Museum website.
You can view more of their incredible photos here.

One of the things I love most about blogging is that you never know what's next.  After posting my sadness about M + O stores closing I received a comment from the Safari Musuem which I'm embarrassed to say,  didn't know existed. I was aware of the concept of the stores but had no idea of impact this couple truly had in real life. I spent time searching through the museum website among others and am completely fascinated with their story. While searching I came across this...

 In 1940, Osa also wrote a book about their lives. Appropriately named I Married Adventure, it details some of the explorations they encountered. Adding it to my birthday wishlist :) How fabulous is the cover??

Photos courtesy of the Safari Museum.


  1. how neat♥

  2. what a fun post ashleigh!

    enjoyed reading it and finding out a little more about martin and osa. sad they are closing down as well. most of their stuff online is pretty much gone already, hope you got something from them.

    and hope you are having a fabulous day.

    ox ^-^

  3. ha, how cool..we were both posting older photographic topics at the same time..yes, think that those are amazing! and imagine traveling back than, wow! will look into this! greets!

  4. I love hearing the history of stores and designers. It's always cool hearing how and when they started. Stores shoot up all the time but we really don't realize they've been around for years and years and years before ahat store was even built. Interesting post dear!

  5. Interesting. And I love the title of her book!

  6. too bad they're closing! i loved reading about them though! those pictures were so beautiful!
    p.s. i nominated you xoxo

  7. That is such a great story...What a fantastic post:)

  8. Thank you ever so much for your last comment! It really meant so much to me. I'm back in the games... couldn't leave something I love so much - fashion blogging!

    Your posts are always so interesting... like this one. Hopefully you'll get the book... when the (b-)day is right! Mine is coming up soon too, yikes!

  9. This is pretty cool!! and interesting!! Stop by this week - my big reveal is an ENTIRE week of giveaways!!


  10. This sounds so cool! Reminds me of the wife on Up and all the adventures she dreamed about.


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