Real Bug Art

The bizarre creations of self-taught entomologist John Hampson (1836-1923).

real bug art

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.

bug art

strange bug 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.

weird bug art

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.