Friday, December 4, 2015

For Christmas in 2005, my son gave me a gift certificate for a tattoo. In January 2006, he went with me to have it done. I keep wondering how many sons would do that for their mother? Anyway, I have always found dragonflies to be kind of magical and there are a lot of different kinds where I live.  I like being outdoors (I should be at a natural history museum instead of Archaeology!) surrounded by trees, birds, butterflies, flowers and dragonflies.  I take long walks in the woods with my Border Collie, who is another one if my passions.

Kate Carras
Kelsey Museum of Anthropology

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I had been wanting a tattoo for years, but couldn’t settle on the design, having several stored up in my mind, on paper, bookmarked online and in books.  I picked up a book on Vintage Tattoos and came across the flash of Bert Grimm.  Many had a military or patriotic themes as he tattooed quite a few servicemen.  I’ve been collecting militaria, particularly WWII items and am keen on “V for Victory” as it was a rally cry for both the military and civilians during the war.  “V”s could be found gracing many ads, business cards and homes, in addition to being made out of silver and gold jewelry.  

Both of my grandfathers being veterans of WWII, they would have known what a simple “V” stood for at a time that helped and influenced them to become the men they did.  So, this design proved to bring so much more together then at first glance.  It serves to honor them and their comrades as well as having a piece of 1940s flash art from one of the foremost tattoo artist of his generation.  I’ve enjoyed carrying it on me for about 3 years now and talking about it with anyone who simply wants to know “why I did that”.

Matthew A. Mickletz
Supervisor, Preventive Conservation
Winterthur Museum

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bouquet of Wire Flowers

Although I didn't do so well in undergrad art history, I did discover a love for Alexander Calder. In 2013, as part of a hair/blog project (, I decided to get another tattoo. Scouring Calder books, I found this image:

Apparently, it was a gift. The caption reads, "When she was in the hospital, Calder visited and left on her bedside a bouquet of wire flowers (fig. 63), explaining that they would last longer than the real things." The flowers on me represent my family—me and my babes: 

Having done museum exhibits for years on a variety of topics, a new job has me faced with art for the first time. I'll draw inspiration from my ink.

Beth Kaminsky
Exhibit Coordinator
Denver International Airport

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Dan Bramos was kind enough to share some images of his tattoos and the stories behind them.

My story is reversed. I had the ink and then became a museum guy.

In 2011, I retired from the Navy after 21 years. Over my career, I traveled to many places, some pretty cool, most not very cool at all. On my travels, I picked up some mostly sub-par tattoos. Once I retired, I decided to do better with my ink, especially not having to make it on just a Sailor's income.

In addition to being a Sailor, I've been a space, spaceflight, science, and science fiction enthusiast my entire life. I grew up knowing that I was born on the day Apollo 16 splashed down, but what really kicked it into gear was watching Columbia launch for the first time. I was nine, drew a picture, wrote a letter and sent it to NASA. Very shortly, I received a letter and autographed picture from John Young and Bob Crippen. That sealed the deal. I've been a space geek ever since.

Through my Navy career, I've been privileged to work with a lot of great Sailors and Officers, a few of whom have gone on to be astronauts that I've kept in contact with.

Early in the summer of 2013, my wife and I were looking for an above average tattoo shop and found Lucky Bird Tattoo in Annapolis, Maryland. I sat down with Tyler McKinney and explained that I wanted something that combined my naval career and love of space. The sailing ship encompasses my time underway, the wings and engines on the ship are representative of the time I spent working on all kinds of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

I told Tyler to fill in the rest with a space-scape, which he did entirely freehand. My only request was that he use the Butterfly Nebula in there somewhere since it's my favorite pic from the Hubble Telescope.

This past year, I met a couple of gentlemen that were working on opening a spaceflight museum in Southern Maryland. I took the opportunity to volunteer and put some hours in to help get it ready. Now, after a year I'm the Operations Manager (which really means I'm the head box mover and astronaut impersonator) of the Spaceflight America Museum and Science Center in Prince Frederick, Maryland. We'll be having our Grand Opening on May 29th and 30th, 2015 in just over a month! The SAMSC is located in the Arthur Storer Planetarium at 500 Fox Run Rd. and specializes in STEM activities with a concentration on manned spaceflight.

Thanks for sharing your Museum People's Tattoo story, Dan --- and Good luck with the opening of SAMSC!

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ötzi the Iceman's Tattoos

We're counting Ötzi the Iceman as an honorary participant in the MPT blog, since he is inside a museum and he does have tattoos!

This cool article from Discover magazine, highlights how anthropologists have mapped the tattoos on Ötzi's  5,300-year-old remains using a new imaging technique.

Researchers hope this new census of the tattoos will help explain why Ötzi may have had the over 60 distinct linear designs on his body.  The tattoos may have indicated the locations for acupuncture treatments, or perhaps the tattoos were the treatment for various injuries.

Interesting to think that we can still discover new things from some very old tattoos!

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.