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Tattoos and Scrimshaw: The Art of the Sailor

Maritime Museum to Host New Exhibit

Embarcadero― The modern western tattoo evolved from the early days of global exploration, when ancient mariners sailed to the South Pacific communities and were introduced to the idea of body art. Tattoos became synonymous with maritime service. These iconic symbols and imagery tell stories and traditions that are ages old.

In a similar fashion, scrimshaw transferred the idea of tattooing from the skin to the whale tooth and bone, with the use of pigment and the skill of engraving. Indelible and highly personal, tattoos and scrimshaw capture in ink the stories of our maritime culture. Scrimshaw pieces tend to depict many themes, but most prominent were women followed by marine or whaling scenes. The Art of the Sailor exhibit opens to the public on March 21, 2014 and runs through the end of the year.

On March 30, the museum will have an event open to the public from10am-3pm with presentations and activities showcasing the skill and artistry of tattoos and scrimshaw. Hands on activities will be available for the kids. Tickets to the event are $16 for adults and include museum admission. Kids have free admission and get to make their own scrimshaw to take home and put on their own “tattoo” of the Star of India. Tickets and details are available on the museum’s website at http://www.sdmartime.org 619-234-9153.

About the Maritime Museum of San Diego

The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship the Star of India. The museum is located on the North Embarcadero in downtown San Diego at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. The telephone number for general inquiries is 619-234-9153. Additional information can be found on the museum’s website at http://www.sdmaritime.org


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