The iconic Miller High Life ‘Girl in the Moon’ was created by Thomas Wallace Holmes, commercial artist and illustrator from the School of the Art Institute Chicago in the turn of the 19th century. She was modeled after Tom’s wife Carrie Strauss and her younger sister Ruth from Elgin, Illinois. Since
1998, as a Fine Art Major at the University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee, Linda has researched her family’s brewing history.
In the beginning of advertising, commercial artists were not allowed in most cases to sign their work. Some companies even took credit for the ‘lesser artists’ designs, not publicly recognizing outstanding contributions to their businesses success, even fantasizing a tall tale for the sake of product rivalry and competition. Think Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales and Miller High Life’s Girl in the Moon as examples.
After frustrating attempts to locate credit of Linda’s great uncle Thomas Holmes for his iconic advertising creation in over forty brewing history books for a design course term paper, Linda became compelled to set the story straight. She has recorded Strauss and Holmes relatives first-hand accounts of what really happened, traveling to Illinois, Virginia and California to interview relatives, check trademark, collect Tom’s works, and go through her grandmother Ruth’s photo albums.
The American Breweriana Journal has published Linda’s articles, a chronology of her findings, since 2013. Her current eighth article, Upside Down Hearts, appears in the January/ February 2018 issue.
Joanne Foley Voss, Linda’s mother, has been instrumental sharing her memories of her Uncle Tom, her mother, Ruth, and the family while growing up in Elgin, Illinois for a documentary in progress. Joanne is featured with her parents in Thomas Holmes 1933 Christmas Special Beer Label.
Linda Hoffman completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2007 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Jewelry-Metals. She is a volunteer Metals Instructor for Fun Gems Lapidary and Metalsmithing at McGovern Park Senior Center Milwaukee and works at Saint John’s on the Lake Milwaukee as an RN.
Linda is a board member of the Milwaukee Antique Bottle and Advertising Club and a member of the Great Lakes Enamel Guild, Society of North American Goldsmiths and the American Breweriana Association. She has a permanent exhibit at the National Brewery Museum in Potosi, Wisconsin. Her works are published in the American Breweriana Association Journal and the Milwaukee Journal featured a story about Thomas Holmes.