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Author Schonberger, Nicholas
Title Inking identity: Tattoo design and the emergence of an American industry, 1875 to 1930
book jacket
Descript 169 p
Note Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 44-02, page: 0682
Adviser: J. Ritchie Garrison
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Delaware, 2005
This thesis considered the role of design in the formation of the American tattoo industry. Tattoo designs, or flash, were based on commonly understood motifs, which were transferred onto the body and sold on sheets and in books as commercial products. From 1875 to the 1930s American tattooists refined their designs and formulated a standardized repertoire, inking a recognizable identity for their art
Extant design books representing the work of six tattooists operating between 1875 and 1930 provided evidence of the standard design vocabulary. Contemporary periodical and literary sources illuminated the cultural context that fostered public knowledge of the tattoo. Photographs of dime museums and carnivals explained how many Americans experienced the tattoo first hand. Tattoo designs were linked to larger trends in the decorative arts. The conservative nature of the tattoo patterns contrasted with common exotic associations generated around the tattoo. The universal appeal of the designs helped expand the market for tattoos and allowed tattooists to develop a fully commercial enterprise
School code: 0060
Host Item Masters Abstracts International 44-02
Subject History, United States
Art History
Design and Decorative Arts
Alt Author University of Delaware
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