Polly Thayer (Starr) papers, 1846-2008

Thayer, Polly, b. 1904 d. 2006
Active in Mass.

Collection size: 21.6 linear feet

Collection Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, writings, artwork, audio visual material, and printed material relating to the career of Polly Thayer (Starr).

Biographical material includes Thayer's resumes, club affiliations, passports, and marriage license as well as those compiled by Starr of her family members and friends. Professional correspondence concerns Thayer's exhibitions, art, and methodologies. Photographs are of Thayer, her friends, family, studio, and her works of art (also found on DVD and CD). Writings by Thayer concern her art, travel and inspirational events as well as a published manuscripts and personal verses. Two scrapbooks, complied by Starr's mother, Ethel Randoph Starr, include printed material and photographs.

Artwork includes sketches, sketchbooks, lithographs, and charcoals. Also included is an inventory of Thayer's work compiled by Wendy L. Swanton, log books, accounts, calendars, and various organizational material. Audio visual material includes interviews of Starr on audio cassette, a VHS video documentary featuring Thayer. Printed material includes newspaper articles, exhibition catalogs, and booklets. A small amount of material relating to Donald C. Starr, Thayer's husband, is also found.

Biographical/Historical Note: Polly Thayer (1904- 2006) was a painter and educator in Boston, Mass. Starr spent years studying in art schools and privately in Boston, Provincetown, New York, Madrid, and Paris. She was awarded the Julius Hallgarten Prize from the National Academy of Design and the gold medal at the Boston Tercentenary Exhibition. In 2001, she was the only living artist whose work was part of the Museum of Fine Arts show "A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940." Thayer's married name was Polly Thayer Starr.

Donated in 1998 by Thayer and in 2008 by the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust. Prior to their receipt in the Archives of American Art, the papers were organized and inventoried by curator and writer Dorothy Koval, author of "Poetry of Hand and Spirit: Polly Thayer (Starr)(3y (Bfor Vose Galleries' first show of Thayer's work in 2001 and other writings on Thayer (Starr). Thayer's artistic process as we are taken on a journey from preliminary sketches to the monumental oil painting Pont Alexandre III. Koval is the author of (3z(BPoetry of Hand and Spirit: Polly Thayer (Starr)(3y (Bfor Vose Galleries' first show of Thayer's work in 2001.

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