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Grant number: PG-51346-11

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PG-51346-11

Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium (St. Johnsbury, VT 05819)
Mary Beth Prondzinski (Project Director: 05/20/2010 to present)

Preservation Plan for John Hampson's Insect Mosaics

A conservation assessment and the purchase of a storage cabinet for ten mosaics made during the period 1880 to 1923 by amateur entomologist, engineer, and artist John Hampson. The mosaics are assembled from thousands of moths, butterflies, and colorful beetles and depict historical quilt patterns, events, and persons, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The collection is used to explore the cultural integration of the sciences and the arts and attitudes about design and nature during the late Victorian era and into the early 20th century.

The Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium seeks $6,000 from the NEH Preservation Assistance Grants program to support the stabilization, assessment, and creation of a detailed conservation plan for its collection of insect mosaics made during the period 1880-1923 by amateur entomologist, engineer, and artist John Hampson. These ten mosaics, meticulously assembled from moths, butterflies, and colorful beetles, depict historical figures and events. They are beloved curiosities in the Museum's exhibition gallery that have come to be known by Museum visitors as "bug art." They are the products of a fertile mind during a period of profound cultural transitions and invite reflection on attitudes about design and nature. The Museum will rehouse these objects and engage objects conservators from the Williamstown Art Conservation Center to produce a conservation treatment plan and introduce Museum staff and collections volunteers to best practices for their housing, handling, and display.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2011 – 7/31/2012