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An Exquisite Legacy – Release October 2020


G.V. Hudson – an extraordinary story

Few people know the story of G.V. Hudson, an amateur entomologist who studied, collected and painted New Zealand’s insect fauna between the 1800s and 1946. His massive personal collection of insects is in Te Papa, but perhaps his most extraordinary legacy are the seven books that he published over his lifetime, beautiful taonga illustrated with his exquisite, life-size paintings of insects. These books are rare and highly collectible, and so very few people can view them, or indeed even know of their existence. Later this year, however, we are publishing An Exquisite Legacy, a biography of G.V. Hudson by his grandson George Gibbs. George is himself a distinguished entomologist, and the author of Potton & Burton’s Ghosts of Gondwana, which has, over the 14 last years, become the classic publication on the history of life in New Zealand.

G.V. Hudson’s life was one of rare, singular dedication to his interests, of which the study of insects was paramount, and his achievements are a mark of what 65 years of focused, hard work can produce. The book is full of stunning examples of his artwork, both original paintings and the Victorian reproductions from his books.

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