Flash from the Bowery: The History and Art of Classic American Tattoos
If you are interested in the origins and evolution of tattooing in America, you might want to check out the book Flash from the Bowery: Classic American Tattoos, 1900-1950 by Cliff White. This book is a treasure trove of vintage tattoo designs, photos, and stories that document the history and art of classic American tattoos.
The term \"flash\" refers to the pre-drawn tattoo designs that were displayed on the walls or in binders of tattoo parlors. Customers could choose from these designs or request custom ones. Flash from the Bowery features over 900 flash sheets from some of the most influential tattoo artists of the early 20th century, such as Charlie Wagner, Lew Alberts, Bob Shaw, Ed Smith, and more. These flash sheets showcase a variety of styles and motifs, such as patriotic symbols, nautical themes, pin-ups, animals, flowers, religious icons, and more.
The book also includes rare photos of tattooed people and tattoo shops from the Bowery, a neighborhood in New York City that was once the epicenter of tattooing in America. The Bowery was home to many immigrants, sailors, soldiers, circus performers, and other marginalized groups who sought out tattoos as a form of expression, identity, or belonging. The book also features stories and anecdotes from tattoo artists and collectors who share their experiences and insights into the tattoo culture of the Bowery.
Flash from the Bowery is not only a visual feast for tattoo enthusiasts, but also a valuable resource for historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and anyone who wants to learn more about the origins and evolution of tattooing in America. The book is available online and in select bookstores.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Flash from the Bowery is the diversity and creativity of the tattoo designs. The book reveals how tattoo artists adapted and innovated their styles and techniques to suit the tastes and preferences of their customers. For example, some artists incorporated elements of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, or Orientalism into their designs, while others experimented with color, shading, or realism. The book also shows how tattoo artists influenced and inspired each other, creating a rich and dynamic tattoo tradition.
Another interesting aspect of Flash from the Bowery is the social and cultural significance of tattoos in the early 20th century. The book explores how tattoos reflected and shaped the identities and experiences of different groups of people, such as immigrants, sailors, soldiers, circus performers, women, and more. The book also examines how tattoos were perceived and received by mainstream society, which often stigmatized and discriminated against tattooed people. The book also discusses how tattooing was affected by legal, medical, and technological changes over time.
Flash from the Bowery is a must-read for anyone who loves tattoos or wants to learn more about the history and art of classic American tattoos. The book is a rare and valuable collection of vintage tattoo flash, photos, and stories that capture the essence and spirit of tattooing in the Bowery. The book is a tribute to the legacy and influence of the tattoo artists and collectors who shaped and defined the tattoo culture in America. 061ffe29dd