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Skin & Bones

April 23, 2009

Can you say, hell yes?  Looks like I know what I’m doing this weekend…  The Independent Seaport Museum in Philly is hosting the exhibit Skin and Bones: Tattoos in the Life of an American Sailor. Anyone who knows me, knows this is my jam, and an area, era, style, persona, art form, that I’m totally into and love.  I think most tattoos today are shit, even those on my own body which are constantly covered by an oxford shirt or blazer, but there is something about this period in history when men went to war, smoked cigarettes, drank whiskey and got tattoos, that I’m completely fascinated about.  I can’t wait to check out this exhibit and encourage all other to join.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Derek Rapisarda permalink
    April 23, 2009 18:08

    So James Q. , when are we going to go see this exhibit??? It looks fantastic!

  2. April 23, 2009 18:20


  3. mike permalink
    April 23, 2009 22:27

    i still need to get my first, brosif

  4. Derek Rapisarda permalink
    April 30, 2009 14:24


    Those old time sailor tattoos are legit. I am particularly enthused with the tradition and superstition associated with the tattoos. Namely how sailors would tattoo pigs and roosters on their feet because they felt it would prevent them from drowning. This arose because when ships went down generally the only things that would stay afloat were the chicken and pig crates. The ones illustrated in your post are amazing.

    As for tradition, I enjoy how sailors would get sparrow tattoos to mark their first cross sea voyage and Poseidon tattoos to mark trips across the equator.

    I am extremely excited to see this exhibit and view the amazing tattoos that these sailors sported!

  5. January 12, 2013 05:02

    I liked the lady with the purple dress and the water in her hand spliling out and the tattoo on the other lady foot with the two roses and water. I’m an aquarius and still trying to figure out what tattoo i want for the zodiac sign. They were all cool but the two i picked were my two favorites.

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