The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has an exciting new exhibit on view until January: Under the Skin: Tattoos in Japanese Prints. Here's a bit about the show:
"Tattooing became an important feature of Japanese urban popular culture in the early 19th century, influenced strongly by the success of a series of woodblock prints featuring Chinese martial arts heroes with spectacular tattoos, vividly imagined by the artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Tattoo artists copied designs from the prints and invented new designs that were, in turn, depicted in later prints.
Under the Skin: Tattoos in Japanese Prints explores the social background, iconography, and visual splendor of Japanese tattoos through the prints that helped carry the art from the streets of 19th-century Japan to 21st-century tattoo shops all over the world."
The Hudson Sun applauds the show and offers further background (and highlights) on the prints, photos, manuscripts and other artifacts. One particularly interesting piece of info is this:
In doing so, the exhibit goes beyond presenting beautiful works of art over the centuries but offers context and history for the viewers.
if you can't make it to Boston, MFA offers on online tour of Under the Skin here. A must see.
And for those in NYC, the Japan Society also has an exhibit on Japanese prints:
Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
[Thanks, David, for the link!]