Tattooed and Tenacious: Inked Women in California’s History



Maud Stevens Wagner, one of the first known American women tattoo artists, circa early 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Maud Stevens Wagner, one of the first known American women tattoo artists, circa early 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Now on View:

Tattooed and Tenacious: Inked Women in California’s History, a special exhibition from Saturday, June 8 to Sunday, August 4, 2019

Explores the largely unknown story of women in the tattoo arts. Organized by Exhibit Envoy, and supplemented with material from the Grace Hudson Museum and other collections, Tattooed and Tenacious features historical photographs and tattoo-related objects, personal histories, flash, memorabilia, and contemporary California Native art with tattoo themes.  This exhibit contains some explicit content. Viewer discretion advised.

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Writers Read, literary arts salon, this month featuring Armand Brint.
Thursday, June 27, 7:00 to 9:00 PM

Poet Armand Brint is the featured reader for this month’s Writers Read. He is the author of four volumes of poetry and a book about the art and craft of writing poetry. This event will serve as the launch for his latest book of poems, Aliens of the Midway. Brint served as the first poet-laureate of Ukiah from 2001-03. His reading will be followed by an hour of open mic. Event is free, donations to Writers Read gladly accepted. For additional information about Writers Read, contact Michael Riedell at

Tattoo Woman Spirit  by Lyn Risling

Tattoo Woman Spirit by Lyn Risling

California Indian Women and Tattooing, Past and Present, a panel discussion. Sunday, June 30, 2:00 PM

Three California Native artists discuss the practice of tattooing in California Native cultures. Participants will be Lyn Risling (Karuk/Yurok/Hupa), Meyo Marrufo (Pomo), and L. Frank Manriquez (Tongva/Ajachem). The panel will be moderated by the Museum’s own Sherrie Smith-Ferri (Pomo/Coast Miwok). Free with Museum admission.

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A River’s Last Chance, film screening and conversation presented by the Pop-Up Culture Club of Ukiah.
Sunday, July 21, 2:00 to 4:00 PM.

This award-winning 2017 documentary focuses on the Eel River, a Mendocino County waterway, that has been subject to decades of over-fishing, abusive logging, catastrophic floods, droughts, and a dam that diverts water and blocks fish passage. The film covers the river’s inspiring comeback resulting in one of the best hopes for wild salmon recovery on the West Coast. The film’s running time is 67 minutes and will be be followed by Q&A. Free with Museum admission.

Madame Chinchilla  (Photo by Jan Hinson)

Madame Chinchilla (Photo by Jan Hinson)

Madame Chinchilla and Mr. G., a program about their lives in tattoo arts and culture. Saturday, July 27, 2:00 to 3:00 PM.

The inimitable Madame Chinchilla and Mr. G., of the famed Triangle Tattoo and Museum in Fort Bragg, visit the Grace Hudson Museum to talk about their lives in the tattoo arts, including Madame Chinchilla’s pioneering work tattooing women who have had mastectomies. Free with Museum admission.

Greenfield Ranch, Easter 1977

Greenfield Ranch, Easter 1977

Promise of Paradise: Back to the Land Oral Histories of Mendocino County, now airing on KZYX Radio, every Thursday at 3:30 PM.

The Grace Hudson Museum is a proud supporter of this oral history and broadcast project. Catch up on all the episodes by clicking here for KZYX.

And to learn more about how it all got started click here to check out Jerry Karp’s November 2018 article in the Anderson Valley Advertiser.

The Spring 2019 issue of The Sunletter is now available.

Grace Hudson in the Sun House, 1912.

Grace Hudson in the Sun House, 1912.

We are proud that Grace Hudson is featured in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s recent blog about
ten women who have given significantly to the world of art. All are affiliated with a historic artist's home in the
Historic Artists Homes and Studios program, of which the Grace Hudson Museum & Sun House is a founding member. Check it out!

Rufous Hummingbird and Scarlett Fritillary Photograph by Rob Badger and Nita Winter

Rufous Hummingbird and Scarlett Fritillary
Photograph by Rob Badger and Nita Winter

And in June, the National Trust for Historic Preservation website featured the Museum in an article
on our spring exhibition, Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change,
which ran from February 10 to June 17th. Read the article HERE!


Click on images or text for more information.

The galleries

Short-term exhibits in The Main Gallery highlight contemporary art, Native American cultures, Western American history, historic California art and local natural history. Permanent collections showcase Grace Hudson’s art; her family’s history; and Pomo culture and basketry.

the wild gardens

An outdoor Art and Education center is under development on the museum grounds. Located in a parklike setting, The Wild Gardens features native plant gardens with exhibits and art that teaches about our local environment and how Pomo Indian people managed this landscape.

the sun house

The Hudson’s charming 1911 redwood Craftsman bungalow home, the Sun House sits adjacent to the Museum and is available for docent-led tours. More than a century old, The Sun House allows visitors a glimpse into the Hudsons’ Bohemian lifestyle.


The Grace Hudson Museum highlights regional art, culture and natural history in the tradition of an extraordinary family – that of Ukiah native and nationally admired artist Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865-1937), her ethnologist husband, Dr. John W. Hudson (1857-1936) and her pioneering forebears. We provide opportunities for cultural engagement, art appreciation, historical reflection and hands-on learning.

Hours & Admission

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
12 noon to 4:30 p.m.
Open until 8:00 on most First Fridays throughout the year. Check Museum Events page for information on First Fridays.                    Closed major holidays.

Individuals: $4
Students and Seniors: $3
Families: $10

Docent led tours for the historic Sun House are
Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 3 pm

Always free to members.
Free to all on the first Friday of each month.


We belong to the North American Reciprocal Museum Program (NARM), with reciprocal membership privileges at more than 924 member institutions throughout North America.

We are a founding member of the Historic Artists Homes and Studios program:

We are a proud member of the Mendocino County Heritage Network.