UPDATE: Here's more on what happened that led to the threats against the museum.
In just one year, the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum has become one of the most important tattoo institutions, with its collection of artifacts and contemporary art, guest tattooists, art and educational events, and its overall aura that pays true homage to the craft. The museum is the labor of love of Henk & Louise Schiffmacher, who have worked tirelessly for years to see this tattoo destination go from dream to reality.
Yesterday, Henk announced that the museum is being threatened. In a letter that became a widely disseminated image, Henk explained that their partnership deal behind the museum has gone sour and they found themselves locked out and the entire collection was taken hostage. A lawsuit have been filed and money and support are needed to keep this home to tattoo history and culture alive.
Details on what you can do to help have been posted today on Henk's museum blog. Here it is reprinted below:
Comrades at arms!
It is been overwhelming, we're blown away by the enormous support we've had the last 24 hours. Never before in my whole history as a tattoo artist I've come across such an enormous exposition of positive energy. Reactions worldwide, tweets and retweets, pictures on Instagram, posts on Facebook, etc. It's a tough fight, but we're in to win this.
Again today we were denied access to our museum. Locks have been changed, negotiations with the police to get personal matters like tattoo machines were necessary. A tidal wave of local and national press were served all day. Negotiations with landlords, lawyers and businessmen took place. Do not despair my friend. We will fight this with success. Stay tuned!
P.S. Lawsuit is about 1.5 million Euros and has no ground at all. Come see us on December 8th. Help us fight for our art, fight for our history, fight for our future, fight for our museum!
How can you help us?
Keep up the fight!
Yours truly, Hanky Panky, Louise, Annemarie & Tessa...
Dutch speakers can find more info in Henk's interview with Parool.nl.
And here's our post on the museum last year, which gives more info on its collection.
The last time I was in Liverpool was ten years ago, but despite all the cider drinking, I vividly remember the city's electricity and creativity, whether it be in music, street art and naturally tattoos.
One studio that embodies Liverpool's energy is Richie Clarke's Forever True Tattoo. Established in 1995, Forever True offers strong tattoo work in many styles, but pays particular tribute to the city's maritime history with traditional (and neo-traditional) art, which Sailor Jerry would approve of.
Forever True studio also hosts many international guest artists throughout the year, and Richie himself guest spots at tattoo conventions and studios. Richie's next spot will be at the "Tattican" -- the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum -- on the 28 & 29th of July. He'll be taking appointments by email: email@example.com.
For more on Richie's work, also check the Forever True Facebook page with photos taken daily at the studio.
Over at Last Sparrow Tattoo forum and gallery, there's a fabulous interview with the Henk Shiffmacher, aka Hanky Panky, conducted by Juan Puente, in which the Dutch tattoo legend discusses the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum and his vision for it as "Tattoo Disney Land Ikea" (he says laughing). There's also an interesting discussion on changes in the industry, which Henk describes as "fast food" tattoos, and the need to go back to the roots of the craft -- where tattoos were built to last through rigamortis, as Henk says.
It's serious talk but fun nonetheless because of Henk and Juan's relationship and some seedy anecdotes that are dropped. Juan offers a bit on their personal history here.
This video will make you want to head to Amsterdam, straight to the museum, and maybe knock one back with Henk to hear more stories.
Rounding out today's list of our favorite upcoming events is the much-anticipated opening of the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum, spearheaded by the legendary Henk "Hanky Panky" Shiffmacher & his wife Louis. The opening is this Saturday, November 5th, and top tattoo names throughout the world will be in attendance.
This is the third incarnation of Hank Panky's museum collection on display, but this time, he promises it will be "much bigger and better" with spaces for guests artists (check the impressive line-up already) and seminars in addition to their library, archives and research center. There will also be a cafe and bar, and "a small memorial garden set up to host urns with the last remains of tattooed people and artists." Read more on the museum's plans and upcoming events here.
Actually, to learn more, hear it from Hank Panky himself in this video below.
You can find more videos and information on the museum's YouTube and Facebook pages.