Good Time Charlie Launches Fundraiser for Tattoo History Museum, Honoring The Pike's Tattoo Legacy
Founder of the Fine Line Tattoo movement, Good Time Charlie Cartwright (GTC), has begun raising funds for a large scale Tattoo History Museum, to be located in Long Beach, CA.
In fact, Long Beach is where Charlie cut his teeth in the professional world of tattooing.
Charlie’s entry into tattooing began in 1955, at the age of 15, he began tattooing in Wichita, KS., utilizing the hand poke method, and applied tattoos from the back of his ’46 Chevy sedan.
It wasn’t until his frequent visits to The Pike, did Charlie seriously consider moving his tattoo shop from the backseat to a building. The Pike schooled Charlie in the real and very competitive business of professional tattooing.
From the early 1900’s to its closing, The Pike was known for housing some of the best tattoo artists in the world. At the time, tattooing was illegal in many states and tattoos were considered taboo by the masses.
In 1975 Charlie left the Pike, and would go on to open up Good Time Charlie’s Tattoo Parlor in East Los Angeles, credited for developing the fine line technique, parent to the photorealism work you see today. But had it not been for hustle and bustle tattoo world at The Pike, and this experience showed him, perhaps ELA wouldn’t had been so successful as it was.
GTC released his own history book “Tattoo Man” in late 2019, which tells the story of Good Time Charlie and partner in ink, Jack Rudy, from the beginning. Charlie and Jack met at The Pike in the early 70’s. “Tattoo Man” is the first book ever written from the source, about the GTC family, the largest tattoo family in the world.
From this retrospective look at his career, it only makes sense GTC would now turn his attention to preserving the history of tattooing through a museum. And when thinking about the location, The Pike became the beacon, a natural fit to honor the history of the American tattoo.
Good Time Charlie has started a non profit, Tattoo Heritage Project, with the primary objective of helping Long Beach be the first city in the US to open a large scale, interactive tattoo museum, which conservatively projects to receive hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Outer Limits Tattoo Shop and Museum owner and Tattoo Heritage Project board member, Kari Barba, is an important anchor to The Pike’s tattoo history. Home to the original Bert Grimm shop, Kari continues the tradition of stellar tattooing, and works daily through her own museum efforts to preserve the history of Long Beach’s tattoo legacy artists and their unique stories.
Bert and Julia Grimm
Captain Don Leslie
The Tattoo Heritage Project’s goal is to help preserve tattoo history, through sharing these stories and helping raise money and awareness for this future museum.