By Dawn Cooke
In honor of women’s history month I have compiled a list of women in the history of tattooing. This is not a complete history by any means. There are hundreds of women throughout time who have contributed to the art form and trade of tattooing. Unfortunately a lot of them have gone unaccounted for. I have tried to find some of the lesser-known women to highlight here however some of the well-known artists have also been included. I have included women with at least 20 years under their belts. I was overwhelmed with the response to my idea to write this article.
Some of the women earlier on in history who paved the way for us included several sideshow performers. Betty Broadbent and lady Viola are among the most well known. In the 1930’s Mildred Hull was one of the few women tattoo artists working on the bowery in NY. The beloved Cindy Ray from Australia, tattooed into the year 2007. These ladies have set our roots and our history is being made as we speak. But here are 20 women, most of whom are tattooing still, who deserve recognition for their contributions! These women tattooed long before social media and Reality television. They may not be masters at social media but they are masters of their craft. Take the time too look into these great artists! (In no particular order.)
1.Madame Chinchilla http://triangletattoo.com
2.Loretta Lue http://leufamilyiron.com
3.Pat Fish http://www.luckyfish.com
I have been making contact with other female tattoo artists. And before you groan, like, “Oh geez… Not another feminist rant… boo!” Give this a chance because I think you might be at the very least slightly impressed or inspired by more than one of these women, I sure am! Please bare in mind the truth that there was a time when it was far more rare to see a woman tattoo artist who could lay down a solid tattoo. These days we are luckier than those who came before us and paved the way. Plus, there have always been terrible male artists also, but they never got that much attention anyway. So the focus seems to have been harder on the ladies. Attitudes toward the sexes are ever-changing…