entitled “brothel portrait” but have no further info on her or the photo
This is Maud Wagner, one of the first female tattoo artists in the United States, and also a circus former: both an aerialist and contortionist. She was decidedly not a brothel worker (I’m pro-sex work by the way, but some people see a photo of any alternative-looking lady and think: “oh she was probably a prostitute,” which I think is generally quite sexist). Maud learned tattooing from her husband, and taught her daughter tattoo art as well.
I happened to know who this was by sight, but if you are ever curious about things like this, you can do a reverse image search on google. I just tried using this jpeg url, and it had her name on the first page of search results.
Covered: New Documentary on Women and Tattoos in Ms. Magazine
If you discount First Nation and Native American Nations who were practicing tattoo art years before there was an “america,’ true enough. I don’t discount that history despite our ethnocentric social system.
Samoan men’s tattoos
Black Light Tattoos
White Ink Tattoo
Hand Tattoo by Guy le tatooer
Maori Activist with traditional tribal face tattoos