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This year’s Prize for Collecting Works on Paper goes to Derin Bray

Nov 10, 2020

Derin Bray is awarded the 2020 Historic New England prize for a collection that documents the history of tattooing in America.

Derin Bray tattoo ephemera

Derin Bray is a leading collector of vintage tattoo trade catalogues, postcards, business cards, cabinet cards, hand-painted flash designs, and related items. He has an extensive collection documenting tattooing in America from the 1870s through World War II. His recent collecting and research has focused on the history of tattooing in Boston.

“I am an author, curator, historian, and dealer in American art and antiques. I am also a passionate collector of the odd and unusual,” quotes Derin on his website.

Derin’s collecting and research seeks the genuine experience behind the colorful ephemera tattoo artists and performers. His work overcomes the obstacles to research presented by an often transient, marginalized group, amassing evidence found in material culture, intensive historical and genealogical research, oral history, and biography.

Join us to celebrate

The award for Collecting Works on Paper will be presented during our Night of Prizes webinar on December 9 at 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. The link for the webinar will be sent with your order confirmation. Night of Prizes is made possible by support from Historic New England’s Friends of the Library and Archives.

About the Prize for Collecting Works on Paper

This is the eleventh annual Prize for Collecting Works on Paper. Historic New England established the annual prize to honor collectors or dealers who have assembled or helped save significant collections related to New England or the nation as a whole. View a list of previous prize winners.