Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce - Event Information - Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce

Event Name:
Tattoo Anthropologist Lars Krutak Gives Vesterheim Presentation

Event Type(s):
Community Event

Join tattoo anthropologist Dr. Lars Krutak for “Tattooing in the Ancient World” on September 19 at 7:00 p.m

Event Date:

Event Time:

Luther College
700 College Drive
Decorah, IA 52101

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The presentation will be in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall at Luther College, followed by an after party and book signing at Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center.

            This Vesterheim event is in partnership with the Luther College Nordic Studies Department and is presented in connection with the museum’s exhibit “Tattoo: Identity Through Ink,” sponsored by Nick and Courtney Rowley, with community partners Brock’s Valhalla Tattoo and Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

            In the presentation, Krutak will share his ongoing journey to understand how ancient and more contemporary tattoos “make” the people who wear them. Krutak’s lecture will draw on material from “Tattoo: Identity Through Ink,” as well as his book, “Ancient Ink: The Archaeology of Tattooing” and his work on the Discovery Channel series “Tattoo Hunter.”

            Everyone is invited to continue the conversation with Krutak at an after party in Vesterheim’s exhibit gallery. There will be light snacks and a cash bar, and Krutak’s books will be available for purchase and signing.

            Krutak is a Research Associate at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a world traveler, and a scholar of body art. He has authored four books on the subject of Indigenous body modification and has also co-curated a tattoo exhibition that toured to the Field Museum in Chicago and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

            The exhibit tells the story of tattoos and the people who have them. For more than 5,000 years, tattoos have been used to document the history of humanity. Today, tattoos have never been more popular, but they are so much more than decoration. Of course there is a Scandinavian connection–with celebrated artists like Norwegian Johan Frederik Knudsen and Norwegian-American Amund Dietzel, but it also looks more deeply at the traditions of body ornamentation in other cultures and connections to them. The exhibit is open through April 26, 2020.

            Check for more exhibit-related events.

            Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, in scenic Decorah, Iowa, showcases the best in historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts, and explores the American immigrant experience. This national treasure includes world-class exhibitions and 12 historic buildings. It is also a center for folk-art education, offering a wide variety of classes in authentic Norwegian folk art every year. For more information on the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities, and ways to donate, check Vesterheim’s website at, call (563) 382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.