Gotham and Gus Wagner: A Live Tattoo Event and Lecture

Fall Benefit

Gotham and Gus Wagner | Lecture and Live Tattooing
September 21 and 22, 2018 at the Melville Gallery 213 Water Street

The South Street Seaport Museum announces a two-day public program, Gotham and Gus Wagner, featuring a rare opportunity for participants to receive tattoo’s inspired by our historic collection of tattoo flash. The The weekend will consist of an evening lecture on Friday, September 21, at 6:30pm, and a day of live tattooing, on Saturday, September 22, 11am-5pm. Both programs will take place at the Museum’s Melville Gallery on 213 Water Street, and are organized by Daredevil Tattoo.


September 21, 2018 | 6:30 – 8pm | $10 (Free for Seaport Museum Members) | Melville Gallery 213 Water Street

Join us Friday, September 21, 6:30-8:00 pm for presentations by Daredevil Tattoo co-founder, Michelle Myles, and the Seaport Museum’s Collections and Curatorial Assistant, Michelle Kennedy. Martina Caruso, the Seaport Museum’s Director of Collections, will be moderating. Tickets are $10 for adults, and FREE for South Street Seaport Museum members. Myles will discuss the tattoo culture and scene in New York City and the Bowery around the time Gus Wagner came through, and she will talk about the artists in New York that Wagner had contact with. Kennedy will showcase digital artifacts from the Seaport Museum’s tattoo collection that help us discuss the experiences of Gus Wagner as a merchant mariner visiting the tattoo mecca of the Lower East Side and the Bowery in 1900, including a selection of pages from the artist’s scrapbook – a 400 page diary book composed of press clippings, postcards, business cards, sketches, and photographs. There will be no tattooing at the lecture.

Live Tattooing

September 22, 2018 | 12pm – 8pm | Prices Vary | Melville Gallery 213 Water Street

Join us for a rare opportunity to receive a truly historic tattoo based on the nearly century-old collection of tattoo flash of the Seaport Museum’s Alan Govenar and Kaleta Doolin Tattoo Collection. Renowned New York City-based tattoo artists from Daredevil Tattoo, 5 Points, Kings Avenue, Three Kings, Red Rocket, Saved, Greenpoint, Fun City and NYHC will be on hand inking designs inspired by Gus Wagner’s original artwork.

Tattoos will be first come first serve, and there are a few ground rules for the day to help move things along and keep the day fun for everyone.

We will take names and contacts, and we’ll give you an estimate time of when the next artist will be available. The doors open up for tattooing at noon and the event will run until closing time at 8:00pm. Once we get your name down you’re free to wander off the Museum’s campus until we’ll text or call you.

  • One person = One name on the list.
  • One tattoo per person and only the designs on the three Gus Wagner sheets are available that day.
  • Artists will be working from the original Gus Wagner designs and the designs painted by the participating artists based on the original sheets only.
  • Cash Only. Prices for tattoos range from $50 – $500.
  • Bring valid state ID (drivers license, passport, military ID) with proof of 18+ age, no exceptions.
  • No necks, hands, bellies, sides, feet, faces, chests. These areas take longer to tattoo or may be more difficult to heal. The artists are planning to tattoo as many people as possible, that’s why they would like to stick to tattooing areas that are easier and go faster for them.
  • While you are waiting we encourage you to explore the neighborhood and visit the Museum. All participants getting a tattoo will have free admission, including the historic ships docked at Pier 16, exhibitions at 12 Fulton Street, and printing demonstrations at the Bowne & Co. print shops, at 209-211 Water Street.

    Available Designs

    Getting to the Event

    By subway:

  • Take the A, C, 2, 3, J, Z, 4, or 5 train to Fulton Street.
  • Upon exiting, walk east on Fulton Street until you reach the museum. Depending on where you exit, the walk takes between 8 and 15 minutes.
    By bus:

  • Take the M-15 SBS or M-15 to Fulton Street. Note: On the M-15 SBS, you must pay at the bus stop before boarding.
  • Walk one block east.
    By ferry:

  • The East River Ferry, Water Taxi, and New York Waterway provide service to Pier 11 from Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey.
  • From Pier 11, walk north on South Street for about 5 minutes.
  • Once at Fulton Street, turn left. The Visitor Center (12 Fulton Street) is about a half block west.
  • From the Staten Island Ferry, the museum is about a mile walk Northeast on Water or South Street.

  • Parking in the area is limited. There is a parking lot located at Front and John Streets, just one block from the museum. Another lot is available at 294 Pearl Street.

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