Art

Chronicling The History Of Seamen's Body Art

If you have one tattoo or more you are most likely mapping out your next one. For awhile now i have bee obsessing on old school American Sailor tattoos. As soon as my piggy bank get full i’ll finally be able to get my big ship on my chest I have been dreaming  about with the banner reading ” Homeward Bound.” Unless unless I request donations here on Accidental Bear. Would that be tacky? I mean, you want me to be happy, right?

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Tattoos And The American Sailor: Exhibit At Mystic Seaport Opens

By JESSE LEAVENWORTH, leavenworth@courant.comThe Hartford Courant

A copy of a vintage photograph at the Mystic Seaport exhibit Skin and Bones, a display on tatoos and the American sailor at Mystic Seaport.

For love of country, for brotherhood, family and fear of the ocean’s lasting embrace, American sailors have marked their bodies for more than two centuries.

A new exhibit at Mystic Seaport — “Skin & Bones: Tattoos in the Life of the American Sailor” — chronicles the history of indelible body art among the nation’s working and fighting seamen. Displays include paintings, photographs and artifacts, including evil-looking needles that early tattooists used on their shipmates. There’s also an interactive Tattoo-A-Tron, which uses video projection to etch an ephemeral and painless image on a patron’s hand or forearm.

The decorated sailor’s strong arms and labor-tightened torso are shown throughout the exhibit at the museum’s Mallory Gallery. There are large illustrations of hard-bodied U.S. Navy men who left records of their tattoos in federal certificates intended to provide proof of American sailors’ identities and therefore guard against impressment, or forced service, in the British navy. Aaron Fullerton’s 1797 certificate, for example, lists a ship tattoo on his right hand and his initials and year of birth [1778] on his left. READ MORE

 

 

Among tools and stories on tattoos are documents and cards on display. The exhibit "Skin and Bones" tells the story of tattoos and the American sailor officially opens Saturday at Mystic Seaport.
MICHAEL McANDREWS, Hartford Courant / March 20, 2011

 

 

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