Encyclopedia Shirt

White dress shirt, fabric paint





I hand-painted over 250 images from the 1969 Encyclopedia Britannica onto a white dress shirt. I’m not sure exactly what possesed me to do this, but like many things I make, I learned why it was a good idea in the making of it. It became a summer-long course in How to Draw Anything with Only Black Line.

For each new drawing I rolled dice to choose which volume to draw from, and how many pages to flip. This randomizing system generated assignments to draw things I might not otherwise  choose to.











Bessemer converter, semaphore, pterodactyls, and an Eames chair.

Just below the map of Europe, upside-down, is part of the Bayeux Tapestry. Amoeba diagram in the underarm.

Orozco painting “Modern Migration of the Spirit” on yoke. Hampton Court maze hiding lower middle. Near top, upside-down, Italian vintners pouring grapes into a press.

I saved my infant son from choking using the technique illustrated lower right. Also, a cool Hiller Flying Platform.






In our 1969 Britannica the Anatomical Lady had transparencies that peeled back, revealing deeper layers of the body.

Tomb of King Henry III, and an Old West gambling game called Grand Hazard.

Stone heads: Pericles, Easter Island.

A tumor, three kinds of intestinal blockage, and a poodle.

Small bit of Gertie the Dinosaur on the cuff placket. Plus: Meat Juice.

As weird as the image juxtapositions are on the shirt, they are just as weirdly juxtaposed in the encyclopedia: arranging content alphabetically makes for some pretty arbitrary mash-ups.






Filed in: Encyclopedia Shirt

One Response to “Encyclopedia Shirt”

  1. Donna Rosetta-Hansen says:

    I see that you also managed to include a dirigible! I can already guess that the answer is no, but did you deconstruct any of the shirt in order to get around the seams and folds? And how can you get this recreated for the masses?? I know *I* would buy one! :) Maybe include washable markers! :)

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