Real Bug Art
The bizarre creations of self-taught entomologist John Hampson (1836-1923).
Though essentially uneducated, Mr. Hampson was a genius who had worked briefly for Thomas Edison. Somehow he recognized the beauty in bugs. In his skilled hands vermin body parts became art.
Using the colorful wings, thoraxes, legs, and body hairs of flies, moths, and other creepy crawlers — combined with near-limitless quantities of time and patience — he created nine awfully strange examples of his own unique art form, including portraits of American presidents and military men.
Each picture contains 6,000 to 13,000 bugs, and each took from three to four years to complete. Hampson willed his bug art to his daughter. When she died the executor of her estate tried to find a museum to house them, but only the Fairbanks would take them.