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!
Eliza Sanders is a writer for Corporate and Foundation Giving at The Field Museum.
Here is her tattoo tale:
I got this tattoo at the end of a crazy year. In 2015, I finished a Ph.D. in English and moved in with a family friend in Chicago rather than attempting the crushing academic job market. I wanted to be able to choose the city I lived in, and to have more structure in my daily life…but among my university colleagues, I was a pioneer. Before that move, the largest town I’d ever lived in was Iowa City, and I’d never had a 9-5, non-academic job for more than a summer. It was a huge leap, but within a month I had found an apartment (in the same building as a brother I’d recently discovered – long story) and a job working as a grant writer at The Field Museum. It was a complete transition into a new life.
This image is taken from the original illustration of the lamppost in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It’s an object that marks a transitional point from one world into another. It also represents my scholarly identity, since I studied the ways that religion has influenced science fiction and fantasy literature. It reminds me of my childhood reading experiences. Most importantly, though, the lamppost is a symbol of light in dark places, and of hope. I got this tattoo out of an incredible feeling of gratitude that I had leapt into the unknown and been caught and set down safely – by God, by my new city, by all the people who selflessly helped me get to where I am.
The Field Museum's Tattoo exhibition, opening October 21, 2016 explores how and why people have been marking their skin as a means of expression for more than 5,000 years. Share your tattoo stories on Instagram and Twitter using #TattooFM, and your story may be featured in the exhibition or on the Tattoo website.