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The MoMA Presents: Aloha Wanderwell, The World’s Most Widely Traveled Woman

On Saturday, January 27, 2018, an illustrated lecture about Aloha Wanderwell's fabulous adventures will happen in New York at the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA)’s international festival of newly preserved films, “To Save and Project.”

Born Idris Hall in Canada, Aloha Wanderwell became one of the most audacious female explorers of the 1920s. Fed up with life in a French convent school, she answered an ad for a traveling secretary when she was only fifteen. Tall, blonde, and swaggering with confidence, she knew what she wanted: to become the first woman to drive around the world.

Over the next 20 years, Wanderwell drove around in a specially modified Ford Model T that featured gun scabbards and a sloped back that could fold out to become a darkroom. She shot dazzling 35mm footage in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America, capturing the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal, army maneuvers in Siberia, and indigenous Bororo tribes along what she called “The River of Death.”

Heather Linville, a film preservationist at the Academy Film Archive, has been working with the collection of nitrate that Aloha donated to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1985. Aloha Wanderwell, The World’s Most Widely Traveled Woman will be presented by Linville, along with Aloha’s grandson Richard Diamond and researcher Jessica DePrest.

More about the Film Festival
Now in its 15th season, the MoMA's “To Save and Project” surveys significant film-restoration projects from archives around the world; it is also a primer on world cinema and an introduction to film history and technique. This year’s festival runs until Thursday, February 1, 2018. For more information, visit

Aloha Wanderwell - The Book
Aloha became a pilot, a film star, an ambassador for world peace, and the centrepiece of one of the biggest unsolved murder mysteries in California history. Drawing upon Aloha's diaries and travel logs, as well as films, photographs, newspaper accounts, and previously classified government documents, Aloha Wanderwell, by Christian Fink-Jensen and Randolph Eustace-Walden, is the astonishing true story of the world’s “Wander Woman.”

For more information about this book, visit

1920s Aloha Wanderwell Arts Books Canadian History Christian Fink-Jensen Culture Film Film Festival Goose Lane Editions Heather Linville Literary News MoMA Museum of Modern Arts New York NY Randolph Eustace-Walden To Save and Project Travel Women World History

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