Johnson, Martin, 1884-1937

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Martin E. Johnson was an explorer, expert photographer and filmmaker.

Johnson went on his first expedition to the South Pacific, then returned with his wife for a second expedition. On joining the Explorers Club in 1921, Johnson met Carl Akeley and the two began forming the Martin Johnson Expedition Corporation. The idea was to use Johnson's popular films as a way to raise money for the Akeley African Hall at the American Museum of Natural History. The Johnsons went on five expeditions to Africa; during the second expedition (1924-1928), they made their most famous film, Simba, king of beasts, released in 1928. Along with the AMNH Martin Johnson Expediton Corp., the film was financed by Talking Picture Epics and other corporations.

Osa Leighty Johnson met her future husband at the age of sixteen, married him a month later, and helped him with his tour of his first film, South Sea Island Adventures.

After the five African expeditions, the Johnsons made an expedtion to Borneo, 1935-1936, and planned a new lecture tour with their resulting film. Their plane crashed on January 13, 1937, killing Martin Johnson. Osa survived to complete the planned tour in a wheel chair. She later published two books about her life with Martin Johnson, made silent lecture films and narrated a TV series. She died on January 7, 1953.

From the description of Papers, 1923-1942 (bulk 1923-1937). (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 85485722

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Gregory, William K. (William King), 1876-1970. Papers, 1889-1948 (bulk 1906-1948). American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn Rosamond B. Loring collection of printed endpapers, 1900-1950 (inclusive), 1920-1941 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Akeley, Mary L. Jobe, b. 1886. Papers, 1921-1952, 1927-1940 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn [Biographical newspaper articles on Martin Johnson / collected and photocopied by the Kansas State Historical Society]. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf Getts, Clark H. Papers, 1932-1980. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn Lisfranc, Jean. Mon carnet de brousse : sur la piste fauve des grands seigneurs des savanes et des forêts africaines / Jean Lisfranc. American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Special Films Collection: Expedition films, 1912-1960. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn William T. Hornaday Papers, 1866-1975, (bulk 1906-1936) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Hornaday, William T. (William Temple), 1854-1937. Papers of William Temple Hornaday, 1866-1975 (bulk 1906-1936). Library of Congress
referencedIn Train, Russell E., 1920-. Russell E. Train interviews General Elwood R. Quesada about his safari to East Africa in 1932. American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn Martin Johnson African Expedition (1921-1935). Field photographs, 1921-1935. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Johnson, Martin, 1884-1937. Photographs, 1910-1952. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Administrative files, 1869-1968. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Sparks, Richard D. Richard D. Sparks gorillas papers, 1925-1962 (bulk 1931-1932). University of Arizona Libraries
referencedIn F. Trubee Davison papers, 1882-1961 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Davison, Frederick Trubee, 1896-1974. F. Trubee Davison papers, 1882-1961 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Davison, Frederick Trubee, 1896-1974. F. Trubee Davison papers, 1882-1961 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Johnson, Martin, 1884-1937. Papers, 1923-1942 (bulk 1923-1937). American Museum of Natural History
creatorOf Johnson, Martin, 1884-1937. Martin and Osa Johnson papers [microform], 1933-1934. Kansas State Historical Society
referencedIn Martin Johnson African Expedition Corporation. Records, 1923-1941, 1923-1934 (bulk) Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Akeley, Mary L. Jobe, b. 1886. person
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. corporateBody
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. Akeley Memorial Hall of African Mammals. corporateBody
associatedWith Boltin, Leon. person
associatedWith Coles, Charles H. person
associatedWith Davison, Frederick Trubee, 1896-1974. person
associatedWith Getts, Clark H. person
associatedWith Gregory, William K. (William King), 1876-1970. person
associatedWith Hornaday, William T. (William Temple), 1854-1937. person
associatedWith Johnson, Osa, 1894-1953. person
associatedWith Lisfranc, Jean. person
associatedWith Loring, Rosamund B. (Rosamond Bowditch), 1889-1950 person
associatedWith Martin Johnson African Expedition (1921-1935) corporateBody
associatedWith Martin Johnson African Expedition Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Sparks, Richard D. person
associatedWith Talking Picture Epics. corporateBody
associatedWith Train, Russell E., 1920- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Vanuatu
Borneo
United States
Independence (Kan.)
Oceania
Subject
Explorers--Correspondence
Anthropology
Wildlife photographers--Correspondence
Motion pictures
Photographers--Correspondence
Cinematographers--Correspondence
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1884

Death 1937-01-12

Americans

English

Information

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