John Hampson was an Englishman who immigrated to America in 1860. He worked at a variety of jobs in numerous locations eventually settling in Newark, NJ. During his lifetime, he developed a fascination with insects, collecting and preserving them. He combined insects with art to make a number of collages, each made from the bodies of thousands of pinned insects. He often used insects that could be found in abundance such as cabbage butterflies and lady beetles. Each work took 3 or more years to complete. He worked at his hobby for 50 years producing 11 known collages. His work was for his own enjoyment and hung in his home at the time of his death.
His curation was that of an artist, not an entomologist. He often trimmed insect wings and bodies to produce sharp lines. His insect collages were not stored in a manner that would exclude damage from insects such as dermestids. Over the years, some of the collages were damaged. His works were donated in 1977 to the Fairbanks Museum in St Johnsbury, Vermont by his daughter. His works have been restored and are on display.