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Old-School Ink_ New Haven_s Tattoos
Old-School Ink: New Haven's Tattoos
September 23, 2017 through March 10, 2018

New Haven Museum
114 Whitney Ave., New Haven

"Old School Ink" will explore four aspects of tattooing, beginning with the tools of the trade, and a look at New Haven area innovators, including Samuel O'Reilly, who patented the first electric tattoo machine in 1891. Henry Silver, the earliest known tattoo artist to advertise in the New Haven Register, used red ink that would have likely been made from cinnabar, also known as vermillion or mercury sulfide, according to tattoo historian Carmen Nyssen. The blue ink he used may have come from India gunpowder or even soot from lamps.

Contemporary tattoo artists in the area have created new, limited-edition art for the exhibit inspired by historical aspects the Elm City, and contributed "flash sheets" of the work to the show. The images depict everything from "I 'heart' New Haven" to a stylized Yale bulldog to the inscription above the gate of the Grove Street Cemetery, "The Dead Shall Be Raised." Tattoos of the drawings can be purchased at the artists' respective studios during the duration of the exhibit.

The show will also examine what tattooing means to those who practice the trade. Notable current artists include Joe Capobianco, owner of Hope Gallery, who has designed his own tattoo machine, and a line of inks particularly suited to the style he is known for nationally-the pin-up-style character known as "The Capo Girl."  According to Capobianco, "Once you start doing this, it does tend to just take over. You literally become a tattooer, you're not just some artist who's putzing around on somebody's skin. You're constantly thinking about how you're going to do what you're going to do next, and how to get better." 

New Haven Grand Prix Cycling Event Additional Events

New Haven Grand Prix
September 15, 4-10 p.m.
Downtown New Haven

The 7th Annual Whitneyville Fall Festival, Hamden
September 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Guilford Fair
September 15-17, 2017

Durham Fair   
September 21-24, 2017    
Please visit our calendar for additional events.

This newsletter is produced in collaboration with the South Central Regional Council of Governments.