Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More to the book than its zebra print cover

I am always happy to infuse more adventure into my work, so it was with great pleasure that  I welcomed Steve Jones and Amanda Malson to the Remains Lighting showroom for this year’s Legends of La Cienega event. There is a great backstory to Steve and Amanda's window, which interprets the 2014 theme, Novels Interiors: Storytelling by Design.

Most design aficionados have seen Osa Johnson’s autobiography I Married Adventure, even if they don’t realize it. A bestseller when it was published in 1940, the book recounts Osa and husband Martin’s travels: picture exotic Africa and the South Pacific, headhunters, pygmies and big game animals. The book introduced truly novel countries and customs to the imagination of folks who might not even identify Kenya on a map of darkest Africa. Used as a styling piece and prop in countless interiors and photoshoots over the years, the graphic zebra print cover of early editions of the novel has established it as a design icon in its own right.  

But the plot thickens: Amanda grew up in the small town of Chanute, Kansas, where Osa spent her years prior to marrying adventure and traveling to farflung locales. So to create the window, Amanda tapped friends, relatives and colleagues back home to fill the Legends window with their cherished copies of I Married Adventure. Amanda worked with The Safari Museum in Chanute, which houses artifacts the Johnsons collected on their travels. It might be worth a trip to Kansas to discover more of the story that Osa and Martin Johnson and the legacy of adventure they installed on American bookshelves.

Steve and Amanda's window will be on view through May 16. Please visit us at Remains Lighting, 808 North La Cienega.

See what else is in the window:

See more of Amanda and Steve's work: