We Tattooed Your Father

The Global Art of Tattoos
February 21, 2016- June 26, 2016
Galleria Cases

  • "Michael Nixon" from Break in the Battle: Tattoo Project/Fort Benning
    Inkjet print on canvas
    Ronie Dalton, Kenny Gray, and Al Ragin
    2009
    Courtesy of Ronie Dalton.

  • Watercolor images of tattoo designs
    Cap'n August B. Coleman
    ca. 1920s
    Courtesy of the Mariners' Museum, Newport News, VA.

  • Tattooing tools
    Samoa Isands
    pre-1905
    Loaned by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Egyptian statuette
    limestone and pigment
    Middle Kingdom (1938-1759 BCE)
    Loaned by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Wooden tattoo pattern
    Dutch West Borneo
    ca.1897
    Loaned by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA.

This exhibition explores the colorful history of tattoos in the Chattahoochee Valley, from Muscogee (Creek) warriors to Fort Benning soldiers and civilian residents. In addition to examining the talents of contemporary local tattoo artists, the exhibit will include a global overview of tattooing and its artistic traditions. Tools, advertising, and artwork from the Mariners’ Museum in Virginia will illuminate how the art of tattooing spread from sailors to America’s non-seafaring citizens. Oceanian tools and tattoo designs, as well as a tattooed ancient Egyptian statuette, on loan from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, illustrate the global character and practice of tattooing, as well as its ritualistic and cultural meanings. Works from Ronie Dalton’s popular 2009 art project with local soldiers, A Break in the Battle: Tattoo Project/Fort Benning, offers commentary on the tattoos and stories of U.S. Army soldiers in the 21st century.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous funding from the Landrum Educational Endowment Fund.

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