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Lizzie Le Blond: EMLB SB4 Climbing Scersceau


EMLB SB4 Climbing Scersceau

This collection was donated to our museum specifically based upon the pioneering works of Osa Johnson, the titular female explorer from the name of our museum. The donor, a proud Kansan who literally bought the collection to save it from being destroyed, gave it to our organization with the hope that by teaming it with Osa's films and photographs, Kansas could become a repository for the works and archives of inspirational women from many different fields of studies and backgrounds. Osa and Lizzie knew many of the same explorers and adventurers, and their areas of innovation and prominent professional works overlap. They are also distinctive enough, however, to profoundly enhance the museum's ability to reach new audiences. Kansas has a rich history of empowering women, and our museum hopes to encourage the continuation of this tradition by preserving and presenting examples of positive individuality across race, gender and social boundaries. We hope continued research of and access to these works will allow us to identify a number of unknown peoples and locales…such as this image of one of Lizzie's many climbs.

Elizabeth Main Le Blond: Queen of the Mountain
Our museum is home to an unprecedented collection of over 2,000 photographs and personal archives of Elizabeth Alice Frances Hawkins-Whitshed Burnaby Main Le Blond (1860-1934). Lizzie, as she was nicknamed, was an author, mountain climber, and one of the world's first female filmmakers. Lizzie was climbing mountains in Victorian skirts and shooting her extraordinary photographs of stunningly scenic glacial landscapes before legendary nature artist Ansel Adams was even born. She is credited with producing the very first sports films, covering the fields of hockey, tobogganing and bobsleigh racing. The photographs in this collection, accompanied by Lizzie's own captions and notations, detail many events and personal relationships that were publicly unknown before the albums were discovered and donated to this museum.

Basic Background on Lizzie: Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed Burnaby Main Le Blond (June 26, 1860 - July 27, 1934) was a mountaineering pioneer in a time when it was unheard of for a woman to participate in most sports, and certainly none as extreme as ice climbs over four kilometer peaks. In her life, Elizabeth climbed the highest mountains in central Europe and northern Norway. Of her over 200 climbs, 24 were the first ascents ever, by either women or men. In 1900 she and Evelyn McDonnell lead the first “manless” ascent, a winter traverse of Piz Palü on the Swiss-Italian border. 

Looking for another awesome photo from our collection?
We have over 20,000 images available for review in our 
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