Artist Harriet Burbeck Partners with University of New Orleans Press for Spring Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — (November 20, 2020) On May 20, 2021, the University of New
Orleans Press will publish An Illustrated History of Domestic Arthropods by Sir Evald Fitch Townsend.
Townsend is the creation of New Orleans artist Harriet Burbeck, and this latest publication, a 128-page
artist book, is the foundational text for a world that she has been assiduously creating for years.
An Illustrated History of Domestic Arthropods contains speculative fiction about centipedes,
houseflies, honeybees, beetles, and silkworms. Subjects covered, include: Marie Antoinette’s garden,
Alexander the Great, and the discovery by Empress Xi Ling-Shi of the silkworm cocoon. All of this is
told and illustrated by a fictional, 19th century British author (Townsend) that is obsessed with
researching his childhood spent with adult-sized bugs.
For the past fifteen years Burbeck has delighted fans with slices of this rich, fantasy
universe—rendered in fabric, canvas, and paper—at galleries in New Orleans, Iowa, and Edinburgh
(Scottland). While the spring 2021 publication represents a kind of endpoint in a long journey, Burbeck
has plans to carry these themes into new realms. “As I continue to make fabrics, ceramics, additional
publications, prints, paintings, and illustrations that flesh out this fantasy universe I create new
installations of increasing immersiveness and intensity.”
Harriet Burbeck has a master’s degree in illustration from the University of Edinburgh, and
teaches at the University of New Orleans. Her work, which is centered around ink drawing and world-
building, is concerned with the biological experience of being alive, and the strange wonder of our
human bodies and the natural world.
The University of New Orleans Press is distributed by Hopkins Fulfillment Services.
An Illustrated History of Domestic Arthropods by Sir Evald Fitch Townsend
H.T. Burbeck; $40.00; 128 pages; ISBN: 9781608012183; Limited Edition Softcover
Lost Tales Publishing/University of New Orleans Press • unopress.org