Tattoo history and culture provides a fascinating lecture topic for museums, universities, social clubs, festivals, and the like. Contact Dr. Friedman at tattoohistorian@gmail.com if you are interested in booking her for any of the following lectures. She can also customize a lecture to your audience/programming needs. Her many years of classroom teaching and background as a performer makes her an engaging, enthusiastic speaker. All lectures are illustrated visually via digital slideshows. Additionally, she can put together panel discussions, film screenings, gallery walks, and the like to fit your parameters.

Selected Lecture Topics:

(lecture descriptions available via email)

Tattooed Transculturites: Europeans and Americans Inscribed Abroad, 1500-1900

Recovering a Visual History of Western Tattooing, 1500-1850 (see video below)

Tattoo Mythbusting

The History of Tattooing in the United States, 1776-1980

The History of Christian Tattooing from Medieval to Modern

Revitalizations and Reimaginings: Crafting New Tattoo Traditions from Archival Materials

Tattooing’s Vibrant History: Ancient to Contemporary

Tattoos 101: Awareness and Appreciation (a special lecture designed for a teen audience)

Some previous lecture venues:

Musée du quai Branly, Paris
Columbia Design League at the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago
Morbid Anatomy Library, New York
Waukesha County Museum, Wisconsin
University College, London
University of South Carolina, Department of Anthropology, Columbia, SC
101st College Art Association Conference, New York
38th Annual Association of Art Historians Conference, Milton Keynes (UK)
National Popular Culture Association Conference, Las Vegas


“The Columbia Design League was thrilled to have Anna Felicity Friedman speak during our first event of the year! She was an informative and entertaining speaker and tattoo historian. As an organization focused on design appreciation, she expertly led us into unknown territories for our lecture and panel discussion called Body by Design, a look into the world of tattoo art. This event attracted an eclectic group of design aficionados and had the second largest attendance for one of our events at the Columbia Museum of Art! We hope to have her back again in the near future!” Elizabeth Nkuo Johnson, President, Columbia Design League

Watch one of Dr. Friedman’s lectures on the history of tattooing:

Anna Friedman lecture “Recovering Western Tattooing” at Intuit from Anna Felicity Friedman on Vimeo.

[This was recorded at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art on September 12, 2009, and was one of the public programs for an exhibition Dr. Friedman co-curated, Freaks and Flash. Note: some of the information is a bit out of date–the progress of scholarship often changes things! Contact her if you’re interested in finding out what has changed.)

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