National Geographic

The Mark of Cetology (Science Ink Sunday)

Moby-Dick-550Dan Weston writes, “Given your interest in Moby Dick and tattoos, I thought you might appreciate my recent tattoo, based on an illustration by Rockwell Kent from the 1930′s edition (that I inherited from my grandmother and have read so many times that I had to have it rebound).”

Clearly, Dan has read my post from last year, “Herman Melville, Science Writer.”

For years I owned a copy of Moby Dick with Rockwell Kent’s dream-like engravings. The book disappeared a while ago, but the pictures remain how I see the story. The Plattsburgh State Art Museum has an online gallery of Kent’s illustrations here; I’ve reprinted the source of Dan’s ink below.

I think I need to buy myself another copy as a birthday present.

You can see the rest of the Science Tattoo Emporium here or in my book, Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

Plattsburgh Moby Dick

Plattsburgh State Art Museum: http://clubs.plattsburgh.edu/museum/mobydick.htm

There are 3 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. John Kubie
    July 7, 2013

    Carl,
    The great 19th century science writer, Melville, also had a fascination with tattoos, expressed in queequeg.

  2. Brian Carpenter
    July 31, 2013

    Dan and I were on the same wave-length in terms of tattoo choices:
    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/BCarp/library/Moby%20Dick%20Tattoo

    My favorite novel, and my favorite set of illustrations for it…!

  3. Wes
    July 22, 2014

    Great work! Who is the tattoo artist? Also, Birgit Brander Rasmussen’s _Queequeg’s Coffin_ and Geoffrey Sanborn’s _Whipscars and Tattoos_ are two awesome (and recent) readings of Melville’s relationship to and literary use of tattoos.

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