Holly Trostle Brigham Pays Tribute to Erased Female Artist in New Exhibition

The Philadelphia-based figurative artist vibrantly interprets the life of Pre-Raphaelite Elizabeth Siddal in upcoming show at the Delaware Art Museum.

Opening February 26 at the Delaware Art Museum, ‘I Wake Again’: Holly Trostle Brigham on Elizabeth Siddal showcases a contemporary painter’s efforts to champion a female artist of the past. Holly Trostle Brigham’s art investigates the life of under-recognized Pre-Raphaelite artist Elizabeth Siddal. Siddal’s works are also on display at the Museum.

Brigham’s elaborate artist’s book is a highlight of the exhibition, combining drawings, poetry, and rich decoration. The exhibition also includes watercolor, Arts & Crafts-style tiles, a printed textile, and a decorated screen. These mixed media works evoke the time and life of Elizabeth Siddal. Siddal is best known as a muse to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but she was an artist and writer herself.

“Lizzy’s story immediately inspired me,” says exhibition artist and co-curator Holly Trostle Brigham. “She had a short but active career as an artist at a time when women had no pathways to artistic careers, yet she is remembered only as a model. I wanted to recover her true identity as a creator and trailblazer.” Brigham drew upon the works by Siddal in the Delaware Art Museum’s permanent collection for inspiration.

“Holly Trostle Brigham brilliantly combines rich symbolism, historical detail, and vibrant imagination to re-present this largely forgotten female artist,” says Margaretta Frederick, Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Collection. “This exhibition rewards looking closely and looking again. We can’t wait to share it with our visitors.”

‘I Wake Again’ continues a series of recent exhibitions featuring contemporary artists looking back on historical figures, part of the Delaware Art Museum’s wider work to expand and diversify the stories told with art.

Visitors can view ‘I Wake Again’ through May 29, and learn more from the artist during several programs planned this spring, both at the Museum and online. Holly Trostle Brigham will give artist talks in the gallery on February 27 and April 10 at 2 p.m., host a Virtual Art Chat on March 3 at Noon, and teach artists of all levels to design textiles on March 26. Audiences can find full details and registration at delart.org.

Holly Trostle Brigham’s art will also be on view in a concurrent exhibit at the Somerville Manning Gallery from March 4 through March 26. Full details at somervillemanning.com.


WHAT: ‘I Wake Again’: Holly Trostle Brigham on Elizabeth Siddal
WHEN: February 26 – May 29, 2022
Artist Talks on Sunday, February 27, 2 p.m., and Sunday, April 10, 1 p.m.
Virtual Art Chat on Thursday, March 3, Noon
Create Your Own Textile Pattern with the Artist, Saturday, March 26.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Pkwy, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free with Museum admission
INFO: delart.org

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required. Full information and registration at delart.org.

‘I Wake Again’: Holly Trostle Brigham on Elizabeth Siddal is curated by Brigham and Margaretta Frederick, Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Pre-Raphaelite Collection. This exhibition was organized by the Delaware Art Museum. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

Press Contact: Amelia Wiggins, Director of Communications & Engagement, awiggins@delart.org or 302-351-8503.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive Pre-Raphaelite collection on display outside of the United Kingdom, and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

Image: “Elizabeth Siddal as Mariana,” 2021. Holly Trostle Brigham (born 1965). Watercolor on Arches paper. Courtesy of the artist. © Holly Trostle Brigham.