Preservation and conservation of the unparalleled Alan Govenar and Kaleta Doolin Tattoo Collection on the life and work of Gus Wagner is underway. Containing some of the oldest artifacts of American tattooing ever found, it includes a large scrapbook, three tattoo design books with painted canvas pages, more than 50 tattoo flash sheets on paper and illustration board, hand-carved tattoo instruments, two albums of photographs, various photographic prints, and wood and leather tool boxes inscribed by the artist.
Over the course of his career, Gus Wagner compiled a unique, hand-bound scrapbook. Called Souvenirs of the Travels and Experiences of the Original Gus Wagner, Globe Trotter & Tattoo Artist, it consists of approximately 150 leaves. Pages contains photographs, some hand-colored, newspaper clippings, ink and pencil annotations, stamps, typescripts, drawings, and sketches, In addition, the scrapbook documents Gus’ career as a “Globe Trotting Artist and Taxidermist” along with letters, ship discharge papers, and other memorabilia.