What is distinct about her - in the past as well as in the present - is a marvellous sensitivity, coupled with an ever searching quality - what I can only call a seeking...
- Robert K. Carsten. Pastel Journal, 2005
Over the years this talent, highly trained, has operated consciously and unconsciously within the premises of modernism -- pulling away from outward appearances, employing multimedia, examining new balances between the seen and the unseen. It distills a poetry as powerful and idiosyncratic as that of Emily Dickinson.” - Francis DeLancy Cunningham, N.A., 1994
A trailblazer, Thayer was one of the most accomplished and earliest Boston artists to ever paint the nude.”
- “The Body Revealed…at the New Britain Museum of American Art,” 2002
Never have wilted vegetables shown so alluringly as in Cabbages, by Polly Thayer. Shiny wet, purple-veined leaves twist away from the center, and a demure little blue cabbage, under its dead outer leaf, almost hides a red magma center...A powerful life force bursts from Polly Thayer’s plant paintings, from her trees imploring the sky to her sensual gardenias, cyclamen and gladioli.
- Carol L. Chapuis, Best of Vose ArtNotes,2006
The woman's foot rests on a plush tiger rug. Her buttocks press against the white silk lining of a diaphanous, ebony robe. As she turns away from the viewer, her thickening hips dimple and the strands of her auburn hair tickle the back of her neck… Could you tell that it was done by a woman? Douglas Hyland, executive director of the New Britain Museum of American Art, says you can. ‘They bring a sensitivity; they bring an appreciation; they bring an elegance and an understanding which no man could ever equal,’ he says.”
Polly Thayer, Gertrude Fiske, Aimée Lamb, and Margarett Sargent, along with several other younger painters, had joined with their peers in an attempt to widen the sphere of art in Boston to include new methods of painting and new ways of seeing. - Erica E. Hirshler, A Studio of Her Own,Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940, 2001