Holly Trostle Brigham: Sisters and Goddesses


Holly Trostle Brigham: Sisters and Goddesses

Curated by Kirsten M. Jensen, Ph.D., former Gerry & Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator

February 20, 2016 - May 29, 2016

Nearly fifty years ago, Linda Nochlin published her now-famous essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Since then, we have seen women taking space for themselves in the art world. However, there are still obstacles for women. Nochlin’s charge, that “women face up to the reality of their history and of their present situation without making excuses or puffing mediocrity, “still rings true today.” PAFA-trained and Philadelphia-based artist Holly Trostle Brigham takes on that challenge in seven self-portraits in which she assumes the guise of artists of the past—such as Frida Kahlo, Artemesia Gentileschi, and Tamara de Lempicka—to remind us of their important stories. Brigham looks to her academic past as a student at one of the “seven sisters’ colleges for women, Smith College, connecting those “sisters” with her own life through these portraits. Three additional self-portraits remind us not only of women’s lives in the past, but their continued relevance and importance in the lives of women today.