Tattoo | Field Museum | Museums | Chicago Reader
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Thomas Duval

When: Oct. 21-Sept. 4 2017
Is tattooing an art form? Answers vary. People who work at tattoo parlors will respond in the affirmative without batting an inked eyelid. My parents would adamantly disagree; not only does Jewish law forbid the practice (Leviticus 19:28: "You shall not etch a tattoo on yourselves"), but many Jews of my grandparents' generation associate tattoos with the Holocaust and don't care for any kind of reminder. "Tattoo," a new exhibit at the Field Museum, doesn't provide any kind of resolution, which is part of what makes the show so worthwhile. The Field tends to water down its exhibitions for children and mass audiences, but to its credit "Tattoo" displays a broad and complicated subject in all its messiness. At the same time, the show is approachable and easy to follow: it's possible that someone who objects to tattooing will leave the Field with a new understanding and perhaps even an appreciation of the craft. Continue reading >>

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