CSUF NEWS SERVICE

Tattooed: Inked Women’s History Is Focus of Anthropology Exhibit

Tatoo Woman

Maud Stevens Wagner displays her tattoos in this 1911 photo supplied by Exhibit Envoy.

Photographs and largely unknown personal histories of women and tattoos before World War II are in the spotlight for “Tattooed and Tenacious: Inked Women in California’s History,” an exhibit of the Anthropology Teaching Museum opening Thursday, March 16.

Students in Anthropology 498, a museum practicum class, are gaining professional experience in planning, installing, managing and returning the rented, traveling exhibition, said Trish Campbell, lecturer of the course and exhibit committee chairwoman. 

The students are planning to offer henna tattoos at an April 8 reception from 2 to 4 p.m., and the exhibit continues through April 23 in the museum, Room 424 of McCarthy Hall.

Almost a quarter of American women have permanent tattoos, compared to just 19 percent of men. The exhibit features photos and artwork from upper-class women who started the tattoo craze, to the working-class tattooed ladies who performed in circus sideshows. A mannequin showcases contemporary, hand-drawn art by a Bay Area female tattoo artist, commissioned for the show.

The free exhibition is sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Division of Anthropology, and offered in partnership with the Hayward Area Historical Society and History San Jose. The exhibit was originated by curator Amy Cohen at the Hayward Area Historical Society and is traveled by Exhibit Envoy.

Exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For more information, contact the Division of Anthropology at 657-278-3626.

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