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Gus Wagner Tattooed Man, Maud & Lotteva Wagner

Gus Wagner Tattooed Man, Maud & Lotteva Wagner

Posted: 3 Apr 2005 12:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Wagner Stevens Davis
I am looking for any information concerning my great-great uncle Gus Wagner (b. June 1872 d. June 1941) and his wife Maud Stevens (b Feb 1877 d. 30 Jan 1961). Gus and Maude were tattooists and circus performers, both had their bodies completely tattooed. Maude was also a contortionist and Gus was a wood carver (he carved totem poles and wooden scenes) and a painter. Gus was born in Marietta, OH and traveled and lived in KS, OK and TX. They had one daughter, Lotteva who married Russell "Tarzan" Davis. Lotteva and Tarzan were also carnival performers. Gus and Maude are both buried in Clements, KS.

I would love to hear from anyone who may know about them!
Thanks, Chris

Re: Gus Wagner Tattooed Man, Maud & Lotteva Wagner

Posted: 13 Apr 2005 2:39AM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm looking for information on a Frank Darpel, who was a tattoed man and worked for the circus. He was from the Cincinnati, Covington Ky area.

Re: Gus Wagner Tattooed Man, Maud & Lotteva Wagner

ron miller (View posts)
Posted: 15 May 2005 6:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
In the early 1990 I bought a carving done by Gus Wagner the Globetrotter. It is a wagon pulled by oxen with wild life around it. The wagnon has 1849 on the canvas. I bought it from a antique shop in Seattle. she said she got it from a salon in Kansas who had it hanging on their wall since about 1935. It was made by a circus man. There is is a book out on gus Wagner and his wife and daughter and a museum in Dallas has many of his carvings and other items. Good luck on your research.

Re: Gus Wagner Tattooed Man, Maud & Lotteva Wagner

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 5:58PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Gus Wagner
To: Ron Miller:

A few years back you replied to a query I'd posted concerning my ancestor, Gus Wagner.

I'd like to get back in touch with you concerning Gus Wagner.

Thank you,
Christopher Wagner

Re: Gus Wagner Tattooed Man, Maud & Lotteva Wagner

Posted: 17 May 2011 2:31AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Chris-
My great uncle Edward Greenwood was a tattoo man in Barnum circus around the 1900's. He was tattooed by a man named "Wagner" who had a business in New York City at the time. His artwork is one of a kind and beautiful. The back of my great uncle has the "Ascension to Heaven" mural....amazing! His belly had a battleship in waves around the belly button. My uncle would call the ship, his "naval warship"...hee-hee.
He used to travel from Florida to Binghamton, NY when the circus wasn't travelling.
At one time I had a picture of the my great uncle in the process of being tattooed. I'll have to ask my extended family to find the photo and scan it so we can send it to you in the event that person is your uncle.
If you have any other questions, only email (my granddaughters email) as I won't be checking this site.
Mrs. Hine

Re: Gus Wagner Tattooed Man, Maud & Lotteva Wagner

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 7:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
I know it has been a long time since this thread was posted but I thought I would just send a message.

I've been a tattooer for 10 years and have done some special research on women tattooers. Maude, Gus' wife is considered the First female tattoo artist in the United States.

If you are still looking for information on Gus try Chuck Edlridge -- he is the tattoo community's foremost historian and I know the large museum and archive he has will have more information on Gus. link here.

Madame Chinchilla also wrote the book "Electric Tattooing by Men" and I'm sure there is info about Gus in there as well. -- link to the book.

Also I know that the last tattoo that their daughter Lotteva did was on Tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy before she died in 1983. He knew her and it's possible he knew Gus, but I'm sure he knew OF Gus. I would also check with Lyle Tuttle - - it is quite likely that Lyle knew Gus. Lyle is considered by some to be the grandfather of the modern tattoo movement and as an Old School tattooer from the 40's, I'm sure he would know of Gus or know people who did know him -- these guys are getting up in age so don't wait to contact them :)

Your family is a very important part of US Tattoo History!

I am currently curating a small art show with a history retrospective on Women Tattoo Artists and Maude and Lotteva will be featured. That is how I found you.

Black Iris Studio

Re: Gus Wagner Tattooed Man, Maud & Lotteva Wagner

Posted: 16 Sep 2013 3:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Wagner
Thank you Jacqueline for all the great info! I'm so glad to know there are people out there interested in the Wagners and preserving their unique history.

I talked with Chuck Eldridge a few years ago. He had some wonderful photos of Gus, Maude and Lotteva he graciously shared with me.

Lyle Tuttle and I have emailed back and forth over the past decade or so. He has some great Wagner related items including an amazing carnival banner of Gus and Maude. Mr. Tuttle has been very generous with trading images and sharing information. He's a great guy! A few years ago Mr. Tuttle inducted Gus into his Tattoo Hall of Fame. He presented me with a wonderful plaque at a great event in St. Louis.

Most everyone I've meet or contacted in the tattoo industry has been so kind and willing to help out with my research into my family's history.

Thank you for your reply and feel free to get into contact with me.

Christopher Wagner
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