Living With Insect Folk Art

North Star

North Star, Made From Pinned Insects
Artist: John Hampson

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.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Art, by jjneal, Insect Inspired. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With Insect Folk Art

  1. Pingback: Living With Insect Folk Art – Entomo Planet

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