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Tattoos in Japanese Prints

May 31 —
Aug 18, 2019

Large-scale pictorial tattoos became one of the most eye-catching art forms of Japanese popular culture in the 19th century.
Tattoos were closely related to woodblock prints and many early tattoo artists may have trained as block cutters, craftsmen who transformed designs drawn on paper into carved wooden blocks for mass-producing prints. This exhibition — featuring some of the most exciting prints from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston — explores the social background, iconography and visual splendor of Japanese tattoos through the printed media that helped carry them from the streets of Edo-period Japan to 21st-century tattoo shops all over the world.