For you teens trying to convince your parents that a tattoo is a good idea, perhaps try telling them this: Tattoos are an art form that dates back to 19th-century Japan. Artists known for their Edo-period woodblock prints—such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi, his rival Utagawa Kunisada, and his pupil Tsukioka Yoshitoshi—also created designs for the skin, adorning bodies with lions, snakes, dragons, flowers. This exhibition places the modern practice of tattooing—which ranges from heartfelt tributes to adolescent mistakes—in historical context. Included are almost 80 works by the three Japanese masters that pioneered the practice. —J.D.
Museum of Fine Arts 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA Get Directions »