Whale Bone Porn and Sailor Ink at Vancouver Maritime Museum’s Tattoos & Scrimshaw Exhibit

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Whale Bone Porn and Sailor Ink at Vancouver Maritime Museum’s Tattoos & Scrimshaw Exhibit

The modern appeal of tattoos wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the sailors who reintroduced tattooing to the Western World after voyaging to the South Pacific some 200 years ago.

The ancient art of the sailor will be on display at Tattoos & Scrimshaw, the latest exhibit at the Vancouver Maritime Museum running from now ‘til October 13th.

Oh, and it’s fucking FREE!

This is an awesome opportunity for tattoo enthusiasts to check out some history of the classic nautical tattoos, mostly commonly referred to as “Sailor Jerry” tattoos today and with the use of symbols such as anchors, eagles, nautical stars, knives, guns, and sexy pinup girls.

The term comes from Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, the old school tattoo artist most famous for popularizing the genre in America. He’s also the guy who taught Ed Hardy, which explains a lot of the classic sailor tattoo imagery seen on his clothing designs.

Also part of the exhibit is the art form known as scrimshaw – works of art carved out of and inked onto whale bones by sailors and whalers. And because lonely boys at sea will be lonely boys at sea, a lot of the pieces depict nude women, topless mermaids and other good erotic stuff. Dozens of historic pieces are on display for visitors to check out.

The Tattoos & Scrimshaw exhibit is running well into early fall, so you’ll have plenty of time to view some awesome artwork and take in a bit of tattoo history.

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is open until 10pm on Thursdays and ‘til 5pm on every other day of the week.

Pete Richards
Author
Pete Richards

If Star Wars and Van Damme had a baby, it would be me.