Women & Tattoos, a feminist movement in ink.

Artoria Gibbons
Artoria Gibbons was born on a farm in Wisconsin in 1893 and she moved away from home at the age of 14 to join the circus. Once at the carnival, she met a man named Red Gibbons who was a tattoo artist. Red promised Artoria that he’d let her travel the world with the circus if he could tattoo her because they didn’t have a tattooed lady in their act. Gibbons went on to perform in sideshows for over 35 years, touring with Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus as well as Hagenbeck-Wallace. Gibbons is regarded as the highest-paid tattooed lady, earning an impressive male following throughout her years in the circus. Gibbons continued to perform until the time of her death, showing off her collection of ink into her eighties.
This woman seen being inked by legendary Bowery tattooist Charlie Wagner, ca. 1920s
Deafy Grassman tattooing his wife, Stella, ca. 1930s
A servicewoman has a tattoo done on her arm in Aldershot, England, in 1951.



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Linda Coogan Byrne

Linda Coogan Byrne

Music Publicist & MD at @goodseedpr Activist & Feminist. Media Consultant & Artist Manager. Artist & Culture Writer.