In this talk, Dr Matt Lodder will discuss both the research content of Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed, and the practical issues of creating a major exhibition of a marginalised art form, with material drawn primarily from disparate and uncatalogued private collections.

Spanning 400 years from the middle decades of the 17th century to the present day, the exhibition includes 400 objects including photographs; drawings; paintings; prints; commissioned sculpture; tattoo tools (including rare early pieces from the Science Museum); rare books; two tattooing studios recreated from collected and re-sourced objects; and several pieces of preserved human skin. As the most intimate of all art forms, the show argues that tracing the history of tattooing becomes a proxy through which broader art and cultural histories of Britain can be read, and through which insights on class, gender, empire, anxiety, nationalism, politics, religion and more can be gleaned.

Dr Matt Lodder is a lecturer in contemporary art and Director of American Studies at the University of Essex.



£8 per person in the Museum’s Lecture Theatre


£6 for the online webinar

NMMC’s Lecture Series

Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed Lecture is part of NMMC’s autumn Lecture Series. Take a look at the other lectures: