African American News

Theo Tyson Appointed Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art at The Boston Athenæum

Fellowship advances library’s commitments to diversity and inclusion in literature, art history, and related fields

BOSTONMarch 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Athenæum is pleased to announce that Theo Tyson, a curator and scholar with interests in feminism, gender, identity, and the sociocultural implications of clothing in fashion and art, has been appointed Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art for a two-year period.

Tyson earned a Master’s degree at Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition to curatorial work at the Atlanta-based SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, she has served as project manager and graduate assistant at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, coordinating exhibition-related programs and conducting research.

For more than 12 years in Atlanta, Tyson exercised her creative and entrepreneurial talents as the owner of trinity productions, producing art exhibitions, luxury fashion shows, and other experiential events while building strategic partnerships in the arts and business communities.

“We are delighted that Theo Tyson has accepted our offer to serve as the Polly Thayer Starr Fellow,” said the Athenæum’s John Buchtel, Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections. “She has an impressive track record in curatorial and exhibition work, including an abiding interest in daguerreotypes and other early photography. She stood out as a candidate with her terrific presentation on a carte de visite from the Athenæum’s collection depicting a pioneering 19thcentury sculptor, Edmonia Lewis.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining such an historic Bostoninstitution,” Tyson commented. “I look forward to working with the Athenæum community and, more broadly, as part of Boston’s cultural landscape as I engage them in my research and share thought-provoking materials from this storehouse of nationally important treasures.”


The Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust permanently furthers the artistic legacy of New England artist Polly Thayer Starr(1904-2006) and enhances the appreciation and knowledge of other artists whose works are reflective of her life and interests. Widely exhibited both during her lifetime and after her death, Starr captured in her works the culture and whimsy of her native Boston with a unique combination of detail, emotion, and wit. Her art is represented in numerous museums and private collections. Visit the Trust online at


The Boston Athenæum, one of the most distinguished libraries in the nation and Boston’s first cultural institution, opened its doors in 1807.

Collection highlights include the King’s Chapel Library collection, with roots in the 17th-century settlement of Boston; rare publications in Native American languages; books from the personal library of George Washington; historic early European printed works; and numerous works of fine art, including portraits of notable Americans such as Hannah Adams and Alexander Hamilton. An extensive collection on the art of the book includes examples of bookbinding, fine printing, and contemporary artists’ books. The Athenæum is a cultural treasure, a refuge in the heart of Boston.

SOURCE The Boston Athenaeum

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