Many museum folks have a love for tattoos—their cultural significance, their artistic quality, their documentation of the natural world, and some, just for their own personal meaning. For years, we have talked about tattoos, the ones we want, the design, the stories behind them, and the artists who create them. So, lets post our tats and our stories!
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
Want to share your own story and tattoo? Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org
or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.