The Seaport Museum’s Alan Govenar and Kaleta Doolin Tattoo Collection examines the life and work of Augustus “Gus” Wagner (American, 1872-1941). Wagner traveled the world as a merchant mariner and tattoo artist from 1898-1902 and then pursued a career as a professional tattoo artist and tattooed man, traveling across the United States, between 1903-1941. The collection is the most comprehensive of a single American tattoo artist during the early 20th century.
The collection includes tattoo flash, hand tattooing equipment, photographs, and a 400-page scrapbook composed of press clippings, postcards, business cards, sketches, and photographs, related to Gus’s career as a sailor and tattoo artist.
The donors retain all reproduction rights to the entire collection and each work of art. The Museum is able to permit the examination, study and research of the works of art for the general public, following best museum practices.
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