When Yoni returned from Amsterdam, where he had been guest tattooing at the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum, he simply could not stop talking about how incredible his experience had been. He was SO excited, that I felt compelled to do a bit of research. He was not exaggerating, this place is amazing! While it is most certainly a legitimate museum, with an ever-growing collection of 40,000 objects plus rotating exhibitions, it is also a tattoo “shop” which houses world famous resident tattooers and top-notch international guests.
Here is an excerpt from the New York Times, describing what the museum is all about:
Founded by the Dutch tattoo artist Henk Schiffmacher, the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum is dedicated to the art, history and preservation of tattoo culture. Occupying 21,000 square feet of two beautifully restored 19th-century buildings, the collection is a wide-ranging one that documents the history of tattooing, from the prehistoric era to the present day.
Yet, way more intriguing is hearing about the ATM from the founder himself, Henk Schiffmacher, who compares the success of the museum to a shining dog’s dick in the moonlight. Right on! But really, his vision is grand. Henk, known as Hanky Panky, speaks about digitizing the museum’s collection along with all of the tattoo knowledge he himself has gathered. This way, it will be accessible to everyone and, thus, interactive. He considers cataloging to be a collaborative effort and asks that people let him know if they notice mistakes. As he says, “sometimes research you do with your heart and not always with your mind.” Clearly, the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum is both a labor of love and a stroke of genius.
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