Art News

Tattoos in Japanese Prints at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

BOSTON, MA.- The first tattoo-themed exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), Under the Skin: Tattoos in Japanese Prints, explores the social significance, iconography, and intricacy of Japanese tattoos. The exhibition, which runs April 3, 2010, through January 2, 2011, includes approximately 70 objects, ranging from prints and postcards to manuscripts and printed books, depicting figures with tattoos in diverse contexts. These images were captured by artists of Edo-period (1615–1868) Japan, who reproduced distinctive tattoo motifs and bold designs of the day, designs which are still used in 21st -century tattoo shops all over the world. Under the Skin showcases the popular print medium of the day, ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”), featuring works by more than 16 artists that show the spectacular imagery of Japanese tattoos, as worn by a variety of people. The exhibition explores themes of mythi