December 2014, Smithie of the Month – Holly Trostle Brigham


Name: Holly Trostle Brigham

Class Year: 1988

How long have you lived in Philly?

We moved back to Philadelphia in the fall of 2008.  My husband and I lived here for a few years in the early 1990’s when he was working on his PhD at Penn.  We were married at the Glen Foerd mansion on the Delaware in 1990.

What is your favorite restaurant in the city?

My favorite restaurant is Osteria.  I especially love the roasted veggie platters!

What are you up to now?

I am a painter and am currently preparing for five exhibitions of my work.  I will have a show at the Grossman Gallery at Lafayette College which opens on January 19.  In the summer of 2015, I will have a show at the Benton Museum of Art in Storrs, Ct, and I will be in a group show at the New Bedford Art Museum in MA. I am in a group of women artists called Corpus VI.  We all paint the figure and this show will feature examples of all of our work.  In Early 2016 I will have a show at the Michener Museum and the Benton Museum show will travel to Penn State/Lehigh Valley.

What house did you live in on campus and what was your favorite thing about it?

At Smith, I lived in Hubbard House for my first two years, then went to Florence, Italy and senior year I lived in Gillett House.  I loved the teas and all the house traditions.  The fire drills at Hubbard were fun as my close friend was the Fire Chair so I always got a head’s up and got to go down to Dunkin Donuts beforehand to get snacks for when every one was wide awake!  She would blast the Talking Heads “Burning Down the House” as the alarm was blaring.

Why did you choose Smith?

I chose Smith because of its wonderful Art History program and because of its reputation and because it was a small, gorgeous Liberal Arts school in New England.  The fact that it was an all women’s college wasn’t a factor in the decision but looking back I am so glad that it is such a strong all female environment.  I have chosen to send my daughter Flora to the Baldwin School, the prep school for Bryn Mawr College, because it reminds me so much of Smith.

What is your favorite Smith tradition and why?

I love Mountain Day!  I think it is fabulous to be given a day off in my favorite season of the year!  It would be a wonderful surprise, a day to catch your breath and to enjoy your friends and the wonderful autumn scenery.

How did your Smith experience shape your life?

My favorite professor was in the studio art department, Nicholas Von Bujdoss.  I felt at ease around him and he guided me on the path that is now my career.  At the time, I was an Art History major, but I knew deep down that I would be an artist one day.  I think he did too.



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