Maud Wagner, The United States’ First Known Female Tattoo Artist

Published April 13, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014

First Female Tattoo Artist

Tattoos are often dismissed as the product of poor decision making skills or bad taste, but their relationship with the feminist movement is quite important. As woman vied for the right to vote, choose and earn equal pay throughout the 20th century, tattoos presented themselves as a visible symbol of growing self-determination and empowerment. As permanent inking suggests, their right to do with their bodies what they pleased was something that simply could not be taken from them. Featured above is Maud Wagner, one of the leading female tattoo artists of her time.

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