Tattooed and Tenacious: Inked Women in California’s History


From upper-class women who started the tattoo craze to the working-class Tattooed Ladies who performed in circus sideshows, this exhibit puts the foremothers of modern tattooing in the spotlight. Through photographs and personal histories, this exhibit uncovers the fascinating and largely unknown stories of women and tattoos before WWII. A Show stopping mannequin, hand drawn by current Bay Area female tattoo artists and specifically commissioned for this show, highlights how far women and tattooing have come.

Exhibit open Sundays, March 15-September 27, 2020
Tours of the Camron-Stanford House occur hourly, 1:00-3:00pm every Sunday. Admission to museum exhibits included with house tour.

Aimee Crocker
As tattooing became more popular, upper class women began to tattoo their bodies. Victorian fashions of the era, with their high necks and long sleeves, often hid many of of these tattoos from public view. However, many high society women like Aimee Crocker and Lady Randolph Churchill (William Churchill's mother) had tattoos. Aimee often proudly showcased her two serpent tattoos on her wrists.
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“Tattooed and Tenacious: Inked Women in California’s History” was originated by curator Amy Cohen at the Hayward Area Historical Society in Hayward, CA, and is traveled by Exhibit Envoy.

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Photographs of Camron-Stanford House by Reenie Raschke Photography