Kelly 01

Wed, Oct 09, 2019

Maria Walsh

Maria Walsh - Guest Services Coordinator

Exhibition Feature: Santa Cruz Tattoo'd

Are tattoos... "art"?

With deep artistic history spanning cultures across the world, we believe one thing is for sure: tattoos are a significant form of creative expression. And the MAH isn’t the only museum that thinks so. Tattoo exhibitions are popping up all over the country, from world-renowned institutions such as the DeYoung in San Francisco, to a traveling exhibition about tattooed women that has already graced twelve institutions around California. The Asian Art Museum recently connected tattoos to Japanese prints, and tattoo exhibitions have been or are currently up at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Immigration Museum in Melbourne, Australia.

Ed Hardy works to elevate tattoo from its subculture status to an important visual art form. - DeYoung Museum

It’s clear that the art of tattooing has gained momentum in the museum world. In November, the MAH puts its own spin on the topic with Santa Cruz Tattoo’d. Grounded in the history of tattoo legalization, this exhibition will highlight the artistry and creativity of tattooing throughout the County. Featuring tatted locals with powerful stories about their ink, Santa Cruz Tattoo’d is bound to make an impression.

Santa Cruz Tattoo’d opens November 22, 2019.

The fine art scene is finally recognizing tattooing as one of its own forms. - Sarah Hotchkiss, KQED
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"Lew the Jew and His Circle: Origins of American Tattoo" at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
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"Ed Hardy: Deeper Than Skin" at the DeYoung Museum
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"Ink: Stories on Skin" at the Museum of Latin American Art
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"Tattoos in Japanese Prints" at the Asian Art Museum
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"Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks" at the Melbourne Immigration Museum
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"Tattooed and Tenacious: Inked Women in California's History" traveling exhibition