Tattoo | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles


November 19, 2017 - April 15, 2018


This fall, we'll bring you an exhibition 5,000 years in the making. The art of marking skin with ink spans cultures, continents, and has evolved over time. We find ourselves with a mysterious fascination with both ancient and modern tattoo practices. Are they considered a part of sacred ritual or an act of rebellion? A sign of belonging or expression of individuality? In the special exhibit Tattoo, you'll explore the history, technique, motivation, and sheer artistic genius that are connected to one another by ink.


The exhibit will feature more than 125 images and objects, ranging from historical artifacts to intricate contemporary designs tattooed onto silicone models of the human body. Each tells the story of this unique and diverse art. The Museum will enhance the West Coast incarnation of Tattoo with objects from the Museum’s expansive collection, as well as features specific to the rich tattoo cultures of Southern California, from Ventura to Los Angeles to Long Beach and Orange County.  


Purchase your tickets early for this anticipated exhibition and skip the line.


MEMBERSHIP: See it for free, become a Member today! Enjoy exclusive member preview days and tickets throughout the exhibition. Members will be notified once member tickets are available.

GROUP VISITS: Bring your group in to see Tattoo. Discounted group rates are available for groups of 10 or more people.


Share your tattoo story using #tattooNHMLA. Post your pictures on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tell us about it.  Every tattoo has a story. What’s yours?



© musée du quai Branly - Jacques, photo Thierry Olivier, Michel Urtado
© musée du quai Branly - Jacques, photo John Weinstein
© musée du quai Branly - Jacques, photo Claude Germain





This exhibition was developed and produced by the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in Paris.