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Floating West: Antique Japanese Tattoo Flash from the Collection of Nick York
A gorgeous, full-scale reproduction of a rare, early 20th century book of Japanese tattoo designs. Accompanied by a lushly illustrated essay detailing the book's mysterious origins and curious history.
Around 1900, an anonymous Japanese tattoo artist painted dozens of extraordinary tattoo designs on the silk pages of a small homemade book: writhing, bearded dragons; elegant geishas; eagles and snakes locked in midair combat; meticulously observed cranes on the wing; a spider in his web, awaiting prey. Within a decade, this enigmatic volume had become the prized possession of an Arkansas farmer and amateur tattooer whose travels never took him beyond the South Central states. Floating West reproduces the original book of designs in its entirety, making a singular object of tattoo history available to artists, enthusiasts, and historians worldwide.
- 80 newly-discovered designs painted by a yet-identified Japanese tattoo artist
- Printed in the United States
Loud, Naked, & in Three Colors: The Liberty Boys & The History of Tattooing in Boston
Winner of the prestigious Leadership in History Award presented by The American Association for State and Local History
Written by Margaret Hodges and Derin Bray, Foreword by Danielle Boiardi
A lively, richly illustrated family biography of pioneering Boston tattoo artists Edward "Dad" Liberty and his sons Frank, Harold, and Ted. Accompanied by a lush catalogue of historic tattoo flash art.
- 700+ newly-discovered designs painted by the Libertys, Ben Corday, Frank Howard, Ed Smith, and others.
70+ illustrations of never-before seen photographs, business cards, tattoo machines, shop signs, and much more.
- Printed in the United States
Through the complex, deeply human story of an iconic family of Boston tattooers, Loud, Naked, & in Three Colors forges a deeper understanding of the history of a vernacular art form and the folk who made a living from its subversive attractions. From the 1910s until 1962, when Massachusetts banned tattooing statewide, Edward "Dad" Liberty and his three sons held a near-monopoly on the Boston tattoo scene from their shops in Scollay Square, the city's gritty entertainment district. Over their lifetimes, the Liberty men accumulated an unmatched collection of hand-painted tattoo flash art, photographs, machines, shop signs, correspondence, ephemera, and family memorabilia. Loud, Naked, & in Three Colors brings together this evocative, sometimes eye-popping material to create a groundbreaking visual and narrative history of tattooing in Boston. It is an appealing work for general readers and tattoo enthusiasts, as well as a definitive resource for tattoo artists and historians of popular culture.
Loud, Naked, & in Three Colors presents more than 700 never before published tattoo designs, known as "flash," passed down through the Liberty family. Painted on sheets, boards, books, window shades, and scraps of repurposed paper, these works represent nearly a dozen tattoo artists who plied needle and ink from the first years of the 20th century through the early 1960s. Highlights include artwork by early Boston tattoo artist and showman Frank Howard, Ed Smith, and tattoo luminary Ben Corday.
Also featured are over 70 illustrations of newly-discovered art and artifacts owned by the Libertys and related to many of the tattooers in their orbit, including Detroit's Percy Waters; Portland, Oregon's "Sailor" George Fosdick; Los Angeles' Ben Corday; Honolulu's "Long Tom" and "Sailor" Jerry Collins; and Boston's Fred McKay, James Fraser, Lawrence Davis, Oscar Bouchard, Jack Redcloud, Harvey Chanarkar, and Frank Harrington. Also represented is a host of material from Ted Liberty's time in Baltimore and later Vancouver, Canada and Harold Liberty's time in Salem, New Hampshire.