The Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust was created by the estate of Polly Thayer Starr to permanently further her legacy and to enhance the appreciation and knowledge of other artists whose work is reflective of her life and interests.
About the Trust
Polly Thayer Starr (1904-2006) was an artist of great scope and insight. Her works captured the culture and whimsy of her native Boston and New England, with a unique combination of detail, emotion, and curiosity. Widely exhibited both during her lifetime and after her death, her art is represented in many museums and private collections. Her estate endowed the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust to permanently further her artistic legacy and to enhance the appreciation and knowledge of other artists whose works are reflective of her life and interests. The Trust owns the remaining collection of Mrs. Starr’s paintings and drawings, as well as archival materials related to her long career.
Since the Trust’s inception in 2006, it has supported a range of cultural and educational organizations. The Trust has supported educational programs, lectures, performances, and scholarships for young artists, and efforts to promote Mrs. Starr’s artwork through exhibitions, research, and more. The Trust does not accept unsolicited requests for support.
The Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust’s collaboration with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum began in 2011, when the Trustees approached a selected number of cultural institutions to partner with the Trust to help further Mrs. Starr’s artistic and charitable legacy. Mrs. Starr and Mrs. Gardner shared a passion for creativity and an interest in furthering artists’ contributions to their community
The Gardner Museum’s educators, curators, and community outreach team worked with the Trustees and developed the Polly Thayer Starr Visiting Studio Artists. This collaboration allows a diverse set of local artists to work in a variety of media, using the Gardner’s collections as an inspiration to create and share that work with the public. Visitors to the Museum’s education studio can engage directly with artists to create their own pieces alongside working artists. The Series also promotes connections between artists participating in the program, sharing their work through salons, performances, and online networks.