Martin & Osa Johnson Safari Museum

category : Museums
Martin & Osa Johnson Safari Museum Located in the beautifully restored Santa Fe depot, this unique attraction preserves the work of these famous wildlife photographers whose cameras introduced the exotic treasures of Africa and the South Pacific to many Americans in the early 1900s. The Johnson Exhibition tells this adventurous couple's story through photographs, maps and personal memorabilia. The Johnson's feature films can also be viewed here. The Imperato African Gallery houses one of the finest African art and artifact collections in the MIdwest. The Selsor Art Gallery features original artwork by natural history artists. The Stott Explorers Library specializes in early African exploration and history.

Admission: ADMISSION
Hours: Open Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed Major Holidays
Address: 111 North Lincoln
Phone: 620-431-2730
Our Email:

Photographers, explorers, naturalists, authors, and native Kansans, Martin and Osa Johnson traveled the world from 1917- 1936. The Johnsons are best remembered for their numerous movies and books about the wildlife and people of Africa, Borneo, and the South Seas. They popularized camera safaris and introduced Americans to a larger world. Their achievements are preserved by the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Osa's hometown of Chanute, Kansas. The museum's Johnson Exhibition tells the adventurous life story of Martin and Osa, high lighting their safaris and lasting contributions to documentary film making and wildlife research. Photographs, maps, native artifacts, a recreated safari camp, and personal memorabilia, ranging from Osa's Vaudeville dress to Martin's cameras, illustrate their travels. The Johnsons' feature films can be viewed in a 30-seat theater reminiscent of Martin's original Snark Theater.


Ceremonial masks, carved figures, musical instruments, swords, jewelry, and textiles from four regions of West Africa are exhibited. It features 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. SELSOR ART GALLERY

Original water colors, oils, sketches, and lithographs by leading natural history artists and illustrators are on exhibit. Included are three dimensional art works from a variety of regions and periods. Traveling exhibits also appear in this changing gallery.


Ten thousand books, journals, and manuscripts form one of the country's foremost natural history libraries. This research library specializes in early African exploration, orinthology, and primatology.


Recently named the No. 1 Museum in Kansas and located in Chanute's beautifully renovated Santa Fe train depot, the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum is within easy driving distance of Kansas city, Wichita, Tulsa, and Joplin. It is on state route 39 two miles from U.S. route 169. Take the Cherry street exit east to Santa Fe and turn right onto the overpass. The museum will be on your right at the next light.


Art and crafts from Africa and other areas of the world are sold along with the Johnsons original books and videos of their movies. Featured is Safari Specialties, a line of handcrafted jewelry designed and made in the museum using ethnic beads and natural materials. The museum shop also carries many items for children. The Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum is a private, non-profit Public Trust funded by memberships, contributions, admissions, and museum shop sales. Information about memberships and ways to support the museum's educational programs can be obtained by writing to 111 N. Lincoln Ave., Chanute, Kansas 66720, or by calling (620) 431-2730.

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