The Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College has organized the first solo museum exhibition for Philadelphia artist Holly Trostle Brigham, who will speak about her work at the Museum Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.
The exhibition, titled Holly Trostle Brigham: Dis/Guise, will be on display at the Berman Museum through Dec. 22. Following its Berman showing it will travel to the Luther Brady Art Gallery at The George Washington University where the artist earned her M.F.A. in Painting.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with an introduction written by Brandon Frame Fortune, Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and an essay jointly written by Dr. Ferris Olin, Ph.D., and Judy Brodsky, co-founders of the Institute for Women and Art at Rutgers University. Olin and Brodsky write, “Brigham’s interaction with art history subverts time and the limitations of being one person. As an artist she lives the lives of many women through centuries past as well as occupying the present.”
The exhibition is comprised of twenty-four works of art, primarily life-sized watercolors and including oil paintings and a multimedia, three-dimensional work. A number of works will be on loan from private collections and include several that have never been seen in public.
Brigham’s Seven Sisters series, a suite of self-portraits depicting the artist in the guise of women artists throughout time, appears in its entirety for the first time. The artists represented are Sophonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Maria Sibylla Merian, Judith Leyster, Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun, Tamara de Lempicka, and Frida Kahlo. Three of the seven paintings are now in private collections in New York and Pennsylvania.
Brigham’s current work, Seven Sisters II, showcases the creative output of nuns, and is represented by portraits of Plautilla Nelli, Santa Caterina of Bologna, and Henritte DeLille. A separate but related project is an installation piece, Hildegard’s Box. Hildegard of Bingen was a nun and mystic who wrote plays and music and oversaw the production of illuminated manuscripts. Brigham’s commissioned work will be exemplified by a portrait of Heather Rodale of the Rodale Press family. Called “Heather as Healer,” it has a Native American theme.
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays. The Museum is accessible to visitors with disabilities. Admission is always free. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Of the over 12,000 museums in
the United States. The Berman in one of only 781 museums that is accredited by the American Association of Museums.
Caption: Holly Trostle Brigham
Sorella Plautilla Nelli’s Lamentation, 2012
watercolor on paper, 29 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches
© Holly Trostle Brigham
photographed by Ken Ek