Chief's Dress Shirt
Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Visions and Myths of a Nation, 1800–1890
Buckskin, porcupine quills, garnet beads, pony beads, seed beads, thread
early 19th century
Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund
Prior to 1848, provenance not yet documented; by 1848, acquired by Nathan Sturges Jarvis; 1848, gift of Nathan Sturges Jarvis to the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned by the New-York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum; 1950, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
Man's dress shirt with matching leggings (50.67.7b-c). A lack of ornamentation suggests it may be unfinished (compare this sparse ornamentation to 50.67.4). While some of the wider fringes at the sides are pierced, the shirt has no loom-woven quillwork or ornamentation on the cuffs. At the neck flap, however, there is an outline of blue beads and at intervals below, an additional two and three bead linear arrangement. There are simply decorated rosettes of concentric rings on either side with centers of plain white skin. Going outward from these centers are rings of quills: light blue; white; red; and a combination of blue and yellow. Following the quills is a ring of white skin, and an outer circle of blue beads. When cleaned in 1992, a fringe damaged by old insect damage became detached at the center of the proper left shoulder. The edges of the torn section were backed and reattached.
Red River Metis. Chief's Dress Shirt, early 19th century. Buckskin, porcupine quills, garnet beads, pony beads, seed beads, thread, 39 x 52 in. (99.1 x 132.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.7a. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 50.67.7a_SL1.jpg)
overall, 50.67.7a_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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