Tattoo History: A Source Book : an Anthology of Historical Records of Tattooing Throughout the World

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Steve Gilbert
Juno Books, 2000 - Art - 216 pages
5 Reviews
The Tattoo History Source Book is an exhaustingly thorough, lavishly illustrated collection of historical records of tattooing throughout the world, from ancient times to the present. Collected together in one place, for the first time, are texts by explorers, journalists, physicians, psychiatrists, anthropologists, scholars, novelists, criminologists, and tattoo artists.

A brief essay by Gilbert sets each chapter in an historical context. Topics covered include the first written records of tattooing by Greek and Roman authors; the dispersal of tattoo designs and techniques throughout Polynesia; the discovery of Polynesian tattooing by European explorers; Japanese tattooing; the first 19th-century European and American tattoo artists; tattooed British royalty; the invention of the tattooing machine; and tattooing in the circus.

The anthology concludes with essays by four prominent contemporary tattoo artists: Tricia Allen, Chuck Eldridge, Lyle Tuttle, and Don Ed Hardy. The references at the end of each section will provide an introduction to the extensive literature that has been inspired by the ancient-but-neglected art of tattooing. Because of its broad historical context, The Tattoo History Source Book will be of interest to the general reader as well as art historians, tattoo fans, neurasthenics, hebephrenics, and cyclothemics.

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Review: The Tattoo History Source Book

User Review  - Maddy - Goodreads

Read this as part of my research for an art history project on Marquesan tattooing. All in all was very one-dimensional and seemed to view the tattoo art without much consideration for the cultural ... Read full review

Review: The Tattoo History Source Book

User Review  - David Griffin - Goodreads

Not a bad book although it focuses on the origins of tattooing and fails to build on this to develop the history of tattooing from then until modern times. It would have been interesting if the author ... Read full review



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About the author (2000)

Gilbert is a medical illustrator and freelance writer who works part-time as a tattoo artist.

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