An Ancient Practice: Major Tattoo Exhibition to Open in Chicago

Explore the history of tattooing at this new exhibit opening soon.

beccyrimmer6 months ago in Stories

The Field Museum in Chicago will play host to an exciting new exhibition about tattooing.

'Tattoo' is an exhibition that will include over 170 objects relating to everything we know about tattooing in the ancient, and modern, world.

Running from October 2016 to April 2017, Tattoo will travel all the way back to 3300 B.C., with its earliest showcase being the world's oldest tattoo machine.

Read more on the Chicago Tribune website.

Below: Mexican figure with facial tattoo.

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Photo: Claude Germain / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #tattooedfigure #history #ancient
Photo: Claude Germain / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #tattooedfigure #history #ancient

Below: tattooing implements made from cactus needles.

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Photo: Claude Germain / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com  #tattoohistory #tattooingimplements #history #ancient
Photo: Claude Germain / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #tattooingimplements #history #ancient


Below: this sculpture portrays the traditional ta moko tattooing of a specific person in a Maori community of New Zealand. Ta moko has undergone a revival in recent years, as Maori communities reaffirm their cultural identities.

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Photo: Thierry Ollivier / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #maori #tamoko #history #ancient
Photo: Thierry Ollivier / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #maori #tamoko #history #ancient

Below: this seventeenth-century stamp was used to create imprint a design on a Christian pilgrim’s skin, for a tattoo to be received after a journey to Jerusalem.

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Photo: Thierry Ollivier / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com  #tattoohistory #tattoostamp #stamp #history #ancient
Photo: Thierry Ollivier / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #tattoostamp #stamp #history #ancient

Below: this silicone body part was tattooed by Xed LeHead. Some of the inks he used are visible only under “black light” (ultraviolet light).

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Photo: Thomas Duval / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com  #tattoohistory #ultraviolet #xedlehead #history
Photo: Thomas Duval / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #ultraviolet #xedlehead #history

Below: Horiyoshi III, a great master of traditional Japanese irezumi tattooing, created the design and tattooed this silicone arm for the exhibition.

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Photo: The Field Museum / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #tattooedfigure #history #irezumi #japanese #traditional #horiyoshiIII
Photo: The Field Museum / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #tattooedfigure #history #irezumi #japanese #traditional #horiyoshiIII

Below: although at first glance the designs on this silicone body form may seem modernist, these designs actually use much traditional Tahitian iconography, as interpreted by Polynesian tattooist Chimé.

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Photo: Thomas Duval / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com  #tattoohistory #tahitian #polynesian #chime #history
Photo: Thomas Duval / Chicago Tribune chicagotribune.com #tattoohistory #tahitian #polynesian #chime #history