Stephen G. Gilbert 1931-2014
Steve discovered his passion for art early in life earning a degree in art from Reed College then studying medical illustration at Massachusetts General Hospital after serving in the US Army Medical Corps. He went on to spend years illustrating his greatest body of work: six dissection guides for zoology until his move to the University of Toronto in 1973 where he attained the title of full professor. Steve spent over the next quarter century teaching, working on anatomy books and writing “Tattoo History Source Book” as well as tattooing and writing articles on tattoos rich and diverse history for tattoo magazines.
In the early 90′s one of the Tattoos.com founders, Damian McGrath was collecting tattoos and reading articles when he discovered that Steve lived in the same city, Toronto, and approached Steve at Tattoos.com co-founder, tattooist Stu Kay’s shop in Toronto. When asked about putting some of his historical articles on the internet Steve replied, “Somebody actually reads this stuff”? and “What’s the Internet”?
Not long after with the tutelage of Steve, Tattoos.com was formed. Early years were spent posting Steve’s historical writings as a key component to the early site development and many of these were refined to become chapters in Steve’s epic “Tattoo History Source Book” an exhaustingly thorough, lavishly illustrated collection of historical records of tattooing throughout the world, from ancient times to the present. Steve traveled to tattoo conventions with the sites founders as well as interviewing many artists, and historical tattoo figures as well as introducing this sites founders to revered figures in the Tattoo world. His contribution to the early site development gave Tattoos.com many inroads and insight into the rapidly developing tattoo world.
Steve was a great artist, writer, illustrator and tattooer as well as a devoted father and husband. His natural deep voice of an orator and sharp wit brought a lot of comfort and smiles to those who were lucky enough to have worked with him and the even more fortunate of us that got to refer to him as our friend.
Rest In Peace My Friend.