Ink and Water: Sailors' Tattoos

Exhibition Website

Aug 5 2016 - Dec 4 2016

Explore the history of nautical tattoos in an exhibition featuring 19th and 20th century tattoo photographs, tools, equipment, vintage flash designs, advertisements, and more. On exhibit are 19th- 21st century nautical tattoo ephemera, historical equipment and tools, flash designs, historic and contemporary photographs, advertisements and more.

American sailors’ tattoos are permanent symbols of their hopes, fears, and experiences while at sea. Tattoos remind them of loved ones back on land, the dangers of their profession, and serve as commemoratives of their travels, experiences, and accomplishments. By marking their bodies, sailors and tattoo artists created a uniquely American style of art.” Artists include August “Cap” Coleman, CH Fellowes, Paul Rogers, Bert Grimm, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, Ed Don Hardy, and many more. Also on display are photographs by tattoo historian Jeff Crisman.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • American
  • Maritime
  • “Cap” Coleman
  • CH Fellowes
  • Paul Rogers
  • Bert Grimm
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates