Bert Grimm

Bert Grimm & Julia in front of 22 Chestnut Place tattoo shop.

My name is Carmen Nyssen and I’m proud to announce the upcoming tattoo history book about my Great, Great Uncle Bert Grimm. This unprecedented biography, documenting one of the top iconic tattoo artists of the twentieth century brings together over a decade of extensive, original research, mined from a bounty of resources—historical documents, material evidence, photos, stories of tattoo artists who worked with Bert, and insights from Bert’s friends and family. The book will unveil surprising, previously unknown history about Bert and the many tattoo artists he encountered, including his foremost mentors, the revered Sailor George Fosdick and Charlie Barrs.

With a longstanding, illustrious career—spanning his teenage days as carnival trouper in the 1910s; his thirty years as reigning tattoo artist in St. Louis; his twenty year stint operating the West Coast’s finest tattoo shop on the Long beach Pike, and finally his elder years in the 1980s tattooing from his Gearhart, Oregon farmhouse—Bert Grimm holds a special place in tattoo history. Over the years, he did much to uplift the craft. Although he encountered many ups and downs and stumbled a bit along the way, through disciplined focus and plain hard work he ultimately evolved into a successful tattoo artist, who cultivated a seamless blend of tattoo artistry, business sense, and showmanship that shaped, elevated, and preserved the tattoo trade. His legacy lives to this day!

For further detail about Bert Grimm and his fellow tattoo artists, visit my website

22 Chestnut Place. Bert Grimm’s old Long Beach Pike Shop. Photographed 2010 by Carmen Nyssen