Get a tattoo at The Field Museum’s new tattoo shop. (For real.)

The rumors are true. As part of its newest exhibition, Tattoo, The Field Museum is opening a working tattoo shop. Members of the public will be able to get a natural-history themed tattoo live in the exhibition on select weekends throughout the run of the show. The shop was unveiled to the media at a press event on Tuesday, October 18.

“We’ve been working with some of Chicago’s most talented tattoo artists to open the Tattoo Shop at The Field Museum, and they’ve put together some incredible artwork that ties in with the natural history collections at the Field,” says Exhibitions Project Manager Janet Hong. “It’s been amazing to see their different artistic styles play out in how they interpreted the theme.”

Visitors can choose from 42 different pieces of flash art (pre-drawn designs) created by local artists to get as tattoos. There are 36 tattooing time slots available to the public, first-come, first-served; to sign up for an appointment, hopeful tattoo-ees can call 312.778.5040.

“We’re excited to give our visitors the chance to get tattooed by some of our city’s greats, including Zach Stuka of Deluxe Tattoo and Stephanie Brown of Butterfat Studios. A lot of these artists have wait-lists that are months, if not years, long, so it’s a great opportunity for the 36 people who are the first to sign up,” says Hong.

“Even if you’re not getting a tattoo yourself, you can come watch the tattoo artists at work on select weekends throughout the exhibition’s run,” adds Hong. When the tattoo artists are not present, visitors can walk into the shop and explore it as part of their visit to the exhibition; a list of tattooing dates is available on the exhibition website at https://www.fieldmuseum.org/tattoo. The website will also host biographies of the artists and their flash art available for tattooing.

 “Chicago is home to a vibrant tattooing community with a rich history,” says Jaclyn Johnston, PR and Public Awareness Director. “We couldn’t resist opening a tattoo shop to showcase our city’s talent. We also worked with local artists, including Harlan Thompson of Pioneer Tattoo, to create artwork for our advertising campaign, and we’re asking tattoo fans from Chicago and beyond to share their own tattoo stories with our social media campaign, #TattooFM.”

The tattoo shop is a brand-new addition to the exhibition, originally developed by the musée de quai Branly- Jacques Chirac in Paris and making its debut in the United States. “The exhibition is an exciting new step for The Field Museum,” says Director of Exhibitions Jaap Hoogstraten. “It features art and culture from thousands of years ago, but it’s part of a trend of new exhibitions that also highlights modern artistic work and the cultural impact that this artwork makes. It’s fresh, and it’s powerful.”

About Tattoo

Opening October 21, 2016, Tattoo explores the global phenomenon of tattooing around the world over time, shedding light on this often-misunderstood art form. The exhibition, which will run until April 30, 2017, features 170 objects telling the story of tattooing, including historical artifacts, intricate contemporary designs tattooed onto silicone models of the human body, and 14 objects from The Field Museum’s own collection.

For more information about the Tattoo exhibition, please visit http://www.fieldmuseum.org/about/press/tattoo.

This exhibition was developed and produced by the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac.  This exhibition and related programs are supported by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

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