Commonwealth Tattoo Gallery - Humbly carrying on the honored tradition of one of the forefathers of tattooing, August “Cap” Coleman, who set up shop right here in Norfolk. It is of course well known that Coleman settled in Norfolk, VA around 1918 and quickly became a living legend in the tattoo business. When Coleman set up shop on East Main Street in Norfolk, VA, it was one of the more "colorful" streets in town. Norfolk was a major seaport at this time with ships from around the world arriving and departing daily. The street was lined with tattoo shops with plenty of sailors to fill them. Coleman's shop was located near the old Majestic Theatre, later known as the Gaiety Theater, a favorite striptease and burlesque house frequented by sailors. When Norfolk's City Council ruled tattooing illegal in June 1950 by passing Ordinance No. 15,668 Coleman, along with many other tattooists were forced out of the city. Many of the Norfolk tattooists, including Grimshaw and Coleman, moved across the Elizabeth River to Portsmouth, Virginia and went to work with Tex Peace.
On October 25, 1973, Coleman's body was found in the Elizabeth River near his home It was thought that he slipped and fell into the river and drowned. Coleman invested his tattooing money wisely in the stock market. At the time of his death he had accumulated a small fortune, which he left to the Virginia School for the Deaf, the Norfolk United Fund, the Tidewater Lions Club and the St. Mary's Infants Fund. #Tattoo #Tattoos #CapColeman #Tradition #Respect #Norfolk #Va #757 #Commonwealth #CommonwealthTattooGallery #Sketchy #SketchyLawyer