Milwaukee Art Museum to showcase tattoo collection

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:42 am

The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) has announced the opening of a tattoo exhibit this summer that will recount the story and works of Amund Dietzel, an entrepreneur from the early 1900s who is remembered as one of Milwaukee’s most innovative tattoo artists.


The “Tattoo: Flash Art of Amund Dietzel” exhibit, curated by MAM exhibition designer David Russick in partnership with local tattoo artist Jon Reiter, will trace the career path of Dietzel, who found his way to Milwaukee after working for carnivals as a sideshow specializing in tattooing.

Dietzel, a native of Norway, is often regarded as the “Master in Milwaukee” and helped develop the style of the traditional tattoo. Dietzel, himself, became tattooed from neck to ankle as he practiced his art.

The new exhibit aligns with both the MAM’s 125th anniversary celebration and the Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebration.

“This exhibition is a great celebration of a Milwaukee icon, so what better time to have it on view than during a time when we celebrate 110 years of another great Milwaukee icon, Harley-Davidson?” said Daniel Keegan, director of the museum. “I am excited to expand the museum’s boundaries to include tattoo art in our galleries.”

The exhibit will officially open on Wednesday, July 3. Museumgoers can gain free admission to MAM on Thursday, July 4, as part of the monthly Target Free First Thursday program. For more information, visit

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