If you would like to include a few out of the way, unique destinations while touring Baltimore, plan to visit the Baltimore Tattoo Museum. Featuring the work of seven different tattoo artists, visitors can choose a tattoo of their own, or just browse their displays of the history of the art of tattooing. The mission of the museum is "... to educate the public about the history of electric tattooing.''
The museum is located at 1534 Eastern Avenue in the Baltimore neighborhood of Fell's Point. Anyone who has visited Fell's Point can attest to the fact this is the perfect location for a tattoo museum. Featuring a variety of dive bars, college hangouts, unqique dining establishments, and waterfront views, Fell's Point is bohemian and unusual. From the Broadway Market offering raw oysters and fresh flowers, to H&S Bakery whose fresh bread can be smelled for blocks away, the neighborhood is a hotbed of Baltimore culture.
The tours of the museum are self-guided and admission is free. The displays feature photos of well-known tattoo artists at work, coupled with examples of their work. There are also a variety of artifacts and tools available for viewing. The main gallery features the work of the "forefathers'' of American tattooing. There are historical facts, original acetate stencils, painting, and artwork, as well as explanations of the significance of the artist and their work.
The tattoo shop is one of the best locations in town to commit to your inking. You can choose from one of seven artists, each with their own specialty in tattooing. They feature work that is Old School Traditional, Japanese Kanji, Black and Grey, Portraits, Flash Off the Wall, and Custom Drawn. Artists include Bill Stevenson, Christ Kenton, Dave Sobel, Josh Griffin, Adam Jeffrey, Chris Smith, and Laura Rachel. The shop has also begun a guest artist program. If you have a favorite tattoo artist who is not on staff, speak with the museum concerning their upcoming schedule of artists, or encourage them to contact your favorite local artist.
The museum is "...dedicated to preserving the stories, spirit, images, myths, and truths'' from late in the 19th century until the present. Through their historical displays and their present day tattoo work, they enable people of all generations to appreciate the art of tattoo work. Their website also features a variety of aftercare tips for those who have just been tattooed. Those in town for a visit who decide to commemorate their trip to Baltimore with some ink will be pleased to find the answers to many of their questions on the site once they are back home. Those not up for a tattoo, but who would like to leave the museum with a souvenir of body alteration can choose from a variety of body piercing options. This gives folks a less permanent way to utilize body art, and is a less painful way to pass the time while your travel buddy gets inked.
The next time you are in downtown Baltimore, head over to Fell's Point and take a look around the Baltimore Tattoo Museum. You just may find yourself walking away with some new body art!