Joy Adamson
Joy Adamson
About Author
Joy Adamson (20 January 1910 – 3 January 1980) (born Friederike Victoria Gessner) was a naturalist, artist, and author best known for her book, Born Free, which describes heRead More
Joy Adamson (20 January 1910 – 3 January 1980) (born Friederike Victoria Gessner) was a naturalist, artist, and author best known for her book, Born Free, which describes her experiences raising a lion cub named Elsa. Born Free was printed in several languages, and made into an Academy Award-winning movie of the same name. In 1977, she was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art. Born to Victor and Traute Gessner in Troppau, Silesia, Austria-Hungary (now Opava, Czech Republic) and was the 2nd of 3 girls. Her father was a wealthy architect. After the divorce, Joy went to live with her grandmother. In her autobiography The Searching Spirit, Adamson wrote about her grandmother, saying, It is to her I owe anything that may be good in me. Adamson considered careers as a concert pianist, and in medicine, but did not take her finals in medicine, instead chosing to get married. She married 3 times in the span of ten years. Her husbands were Viktor von Klarwill (Ziebel) 1902-1985, (Jewish Austrian), the botanist Peter Bally (divorced in 1942), who gave her the nickname Joy, and lastly game warden George Adamson. Viktor sent her to Africa, Bally influenced her painting and drawing of the people and the plant life of Africa. 600 of her paintings now belong to the National Museum of Kenya. The Colonial Government of Kenya commissioned her to paint portraits of members of 22 tribes whose culture was vanishing. It was during her marriage to George Adamson that she lived in tent camps in Kenya and first met Elsa, the topic of her famous book Born Free. Adamson is best known for her conservation efforts associated with Elsa the Lioness. They decided to set her free rather than send her to a zoo, and spent many months training her to hunt and survive on her own. They were successful in the end, and Elsa became the first lioness successfully released back into the wild, the first to have contact after release, and the first known to have cubs. The Adamsons keRead Less
Books by Joy Adamson
Born Free
(4.17)
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