30 July 6 November 2005. This August in Amsterdam is dedicated to the sea, with festivals and exhibitions centred round the Sail Amsterdam Tall Ships Event. The Amsterdam Historisch Museum is taking part with an unusual angle on the history of this great sea-faring nation an exhibition of sailors tattoos from Amsterdam and other ports. Over the centuries, sailors from all over the world have visited the Dutch harbour and many of them took home a permanent reminder of their stay in the form of a colourful tattoo.

The focal point of the exhibition is the replica of a famous Amsterdam tattooists shop in the red-light district, Tattoo Peters. Here thousands of seamen had their bodies artistically embellished during the tattoo parlours heyday in the 1950s and 60s. The exhibition includes a video documentary of the famous tattoo artist, Henk Schiffmacher, in conversation with some of Tattoo Peters old customers. There are photographs and original designs on display and an explanation given about the symbolism used in tattoo art. The Anatomical Museum of the University of Leiden and Amsterdams Medical Centre have also contributed extraordinary specimens of tattooed skin in aqua-fortis (nitric acid) from their own collections.

Admission: adults 6.00; 6 15 years 3.00. Mon Fri 10.00 17.00, Sat & Sun 11.00 17.00.

General Info

Address Amsterdam Historisch Museum, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357. On foot :12-minute walk from Amsterdam central station. Trams 1, 2, 5 (stop at Spui) 4, 9, 14, 16, 24 and 25 (stop at Rokin). Tel: +31(0)205231822, info@ahm.amsterdam.nl
Website www.ahm.nl

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Sailors' tattoos

Amsterdam Historisch Museum, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357. On foot :12-minute walk from Amsterdam central station. Trams 1, 2, 5 (stop at Spui) 4, 9, 14, 16, 24 and 25 (stop at Rokin). Tel: +31(0)205231822, info@ahm.amsterdam.nl