Unique Polly Thayer Starr Exhibit Opens at Weir River Farm, Supported in part by a generous grant from The Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust

Photo credit: Christie Jackson, Trustees

June 7, 2021 by the Trustees

Trustees South Shore Portfolio Director Anne Smith-White is pleased to announce a year of arts and culture programming to coincide with the exhibit Polly Thayer Starr: Spirit of Discovery, opening at Weir River Farm June 11, 2021. Polly Thayer Starr, a classically trained and well-known artist of the Boston School, spent summers at the family’s home on Turkey Hill in Hingham, Massachusetts, today known as Weir River Farm. Polly donated this 75-acre working farm to the Trustees in 1999. 

Polly bounded onto the 1930s art scene, gaining fame for her formal portraits of Boston’s social, political, and academic elite. “Polly had a remarkable spirit of discovery, looking to explore the world around her and understand its complexities,” notes Christie Jackson, Trustees Senior Curator. “We have created an experience out on the grounds that invites visitors to discover and enjoy nature though this same spirit of discovery. I wanted to create an exhibition that would equally excite art enthusiasts as well as families looking to be outside.”

Photo credit: Christie Jackson, Trustees

Visitors will engage with unique exploration stations placed around Weir River Farm on the Orange Trail, a half-mile loop starting at the parking lot at 140 Turkey Hill Lane. The stations prompt a process of imagination and close inspection of the landscape and are accompanied by quotations from Ms. Starr and reproductions of her artwork. Exploration Stations will be unveiled at Weir River Farm on June 11, 2021 and will remain in place for the 2021-2022 season. They are free and open to the public to enjoy.

To augment the installation, property staff are planning a full year of arts programming. “Visitors come to Weir River Farm expecting to interact with our Belted Galloway cows, get up close to our chickens, pet the goats and sheep,” notes Anne Smith-White. “This summer we activate Polly’s sense of wonder and artistic vision by offering guests a way to see this beautiful place through a creative lens.” Poetry and Art nights, photography workshops, Art in Nature sketching classes and “Paint Night” workshops are all being launched this summer. For more information and to register, visit https://thetrustees.org/place/weir-river-farm/

This installation and associated programming are supported in part by a generous grant from The Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust. The Trust is focused on furthering Starr’s artistic legacy, as well as promoting access to the arts and artistic practice by collaborating with artists and cultural institutions interested in furthering her artistic ideals and her interest in social justice. The Trust owns the remaining collection of Mrs. Starr’s paintings and drawings, as well as archival materials related to her long career. For more information, visit www.pollythayerstarr.org or https://thetrustees.org/exhibit/polly-thayer-starr-spirit-of-discovery/

About The Trustees
Founded in the city of Boston by landscape architect and open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, the Trustees is the nation’s first and the Commonwealth’s largest preservation and conservation non-profit. For more than 125 years, we have worked to preserve and protect dynamic natural and cultural sites – from beaches and community gardens to farms, historic homesteads, designed landscapes, and hiking trails – for public use and enjoyment. Today we are working to engage a larger constituency of Massachusetts residents, members, visitors, and public and private partners in our work to help protect our beloved and fragile natural, ecological, cultural, and coastal sites for current and future generations.

To learn more, visit www.thetrustees.org

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