“Lew the Jew” Alberts
Early 20th Century Tattoo Drawings
Albert Kurzman (1880-1954)— aka “Lew the Jew”—was one of America’s most influential tattoo artists at the beginning of the 20th century. Operating primarily on New York’s Bowery, Lew not only constructed some of the earliest electric tattoo machines, but was the first to design and market printed design sheets to other tattooers. His artwork in these “flash” displays codified the repertoire of American tattooing, and many are still in use today.
This first book to document this amazing man presents over 150 drawings. Included in these is correspondence between Al and two of his closest confidants, San Francisco Bay Area tattooers “Brooklyn Joe” Lieber and C.J.“Pop” Eddy. These candid fragments provide a vivid sense of a hardboiled, secretive world. Additional business cards, vintage tattoo photographs, and previously unknown biographical data illuminate the then-shadowy business of skin art. This material laid the ground for the avalanche of tattooing that permeates the world today.
72 pages, 11” x 14” inches, softbound