The Johnson Artifact Collection

Pilot LicensesMartin and Osa Johnson made two expeditions to the South Seas (1917 and 1919), two to Borneo (1920 and 1935-1936), and five extended trips to Africa (between 1921 and 1934). Their South Seas films gave them global fame, but their African expeditions gave them recognition as professional photographers, explorers, and conservationists.The Johnson Exhibition Gallery illustrates their lives and their accomplishments. Artifacts, photographs, and personal memorabilia are preserved for generations to come at our museum.

Do you have a Martin and Osa Johnson artifact, photo or book?
Your donation to our museum is a great way to preserve history and is tax deductible!
Call 620-431-2730 or email the museum to talk to the curator today!


The Johnsons’ Core Photography & Related Photographic Collections

NL1046.1 Martin and Osa Johnson with cameras at Lake ParadiseThere is no question that the Johnsons’ greatest contribution consists of their photographic records of remote and little-known regions of the world in the early decades of the 20th century. Some of the Johnsons’ motion pictures today serve as the ultimate documentation of lifestyles and wildernesses that have long since vanished. The Johnsons’ record of cultures and customs that have ceased to exist will allow us to know these people’s way of life forever.

Carl Von Hoffman Program Cover

em climbing with rope lines edited white resizeSimilar collections of pioneering photographers are also housed permanently at our museum.  Among them are the photographs, artifacts & archives of adventurer, journalist & author Carl Von Hoffman and Alpine climber and sports filmmaker Elizabeth Main Le Blond.

 We would love to hear about new explorers and photographers you know whose collections  would really feel at home in our museum.  Call 620-431-2730 or email the museum to talk to the curator today!  As a non-profit organization, we  cannot afford to purchase artifacts, but donations are tax deductible!


West African  & Ethnographic Collections

Tyi Wara Dancers at Imperato GalleryCeremonial masks, carved figures, musical instruments, swords, jewelry and textiles from four regions of West Africa are permanently exhibited. Our galleries feature the art and artifacts of over thirty ethnic groups, and includes a dramatic life-size Tyi Wara Dance diorama. This collection is the finest of its kind in the Midwest.

In addition we have a strong collection of art and artifacts from other regions of Africa, as well as from locales such as British North Borneo and the south seas islands explored by Martin and Osa Johnson.

 If you have collected ethnographic artifacts that you would like to donate, please  call 620-431-2730 or email the museum to talk to the curator today.  As a non-profit organization, we  cannot afford to purchase artifacts, but donations are tax deductible!



Fine Arts Collections

Thai DancerThe heart of any museum is its collection. On average, 90 percent of a museum’s core collection is kept in storage due to a lack of permanent display space and as a conservation technique to protect light sensitive pieces. Our Selsor Art Gallery allows us to highlight some of the most stunning, unusual and least seen examples from our diverse collections on a temporary basis.  Click Here to see what’s currently showing in our Selsor Gallery.







Traveling Exhibitions from the Safari Museum

These are our current Traveling Exhibitions.  To learn more about these exhibitions and about ways you could bring it to host sites and special events in your own communities, please call 620-431-2730 or email the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum.