Hunting Shirt by Mary Brandenburg
In the summer of 1775, George Washington was desperate to properly uniform the nascent Continental Army then forming around Boston. During the first week of August, Washington requested Connecticut authorities to begin producing inexpensive clothing for his men and sent along a sample of frontier clothing for them to use as a pattern. It was an “Indian or Hunting Shirt” with “a cape ruffled.” Washington explained that “It is designed as a Species of Uniform both cheap & convenient.”
This year’s CLF Live Fundraising Auction will feature an outstanding example of the ubiquitous frontier hunting shirt by artist Mary Brandenburg. The shirt is Brandenburg’s creation but solidly based on research into original period examples which was conducted by Neal Hurst. Brandenburg’s auction offering is made from 100% Linen Osnabrig (as it was known in the eighteenth century) that is cut by the “thread-pull” method and completely hand-sewn with waxed linen thread. The fabric of the hunting shirt is left undyed, retaining a deep oatmeal hue.
Mary has been sewing since the age of 15 and began specializing in historic garments in 1983. She created this hunting shirt, she says, “as way to show not only support for the CLA but for the largely unknown, under-appreciated portion of its membership, women artists. I hope that the CLA leaders will see this collection and its presentation as an incredible opportunity to reach beyond itself to draw in more women artists that are interested in the Early American period of the Longrifle.”
For more information on the work of the artist, contact:
Mary Brandenburg: firstname.lastname@example.org
Text by Joshua Shepherd
Photography by David Wright