Margaret Ruth Polson, Ph.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Margaret Ruth Polson, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 22, 2024,

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Margaret Ruth Polson, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




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Boone (N.C.)

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Professor Emerita

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Professor Emerita of Art Margaret R. ("Peggy") Polson (March 31, 1931-), was born in Roanoke, Virginia. After graduating from Ithaca High School, Ithaca, New York, she earned her A.A. degree at Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, in 1951, and her B.A. degree at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 1954. Polson completed an M.S degree at Cornell in 1956 and went on to earn an M.EA. degree at the State University of Iowa, Iowa City, in 1961. After additional studies at Silliman University in the Philippines (1953), the California School of Fine Arts, Los Angeles, (1957), and the Instituto Allende in Mexico (1959), she earned a Ph.D. degree in 1974 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Polson has done further study at the Vermont Studio School and at the University of Iowa. Polson began her teaching career in 1953 at Silliman University. She then taught at the Roberson Memorial Museum, Binghamton, New York, during the summer of 1955 and at Iowa State University in Ames, from 1956 to 1958. She later taught at Cornell (1962-63) and at State University College, Plattsburgh, New York (1963-66), before coming to Appalachian State University in 1971. Dr. Polson retired from Appalachian State in 1993. An accomplished artist as well as an educator, Polson has exhibited her work across the country. Exhibition sites include Erie, Pennsylvania; Ithaca, New York; Lancaster, South Carolina; the North Carolina towns and cities of Asheville, Banner Elk, Boone, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Spruce Pine, and Winston-Salem; Atlanta and Athens, Georgia; Johnson City, Tennessee; and Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Polson draws, paints, carves intaglios, makes prints, and creates foil print monotypes. Polson's publications include the following articles: • "The Feminine Sensibility and Inner Space: Some Thoughts Concerning jungian Psychology in Art." The Southern Quarterly 18 (Winter 1979): 42-51. • "The Poetic Image of Landscape in a Late Work of Paul Klee." Interpretations: A Journal of Idea, Analysis and Criticism 13.2 (Spring 1982) : 98-104. • "Thoughts on the Visual Language of Paul Klee as Seen in His Ohne Titel (1940). Studies in Iconography 9 (1983): 129-33. Dr. Polson has been the recipient of many awards, including the Outstanding Teaching Award given in 1993 by the Alumni Association of Appalachian State University. She has been a Danforth Associate (June 1981-May 1986), was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (1980), and is listed in Who's Who of Women in Education (1978) and Who's Who in the South and Southwest (1993). She has presented papers and chaired panels at several art conferences in the Southeast. Dr. Polson has also traveled widely. In addition to her teaching experience in the Philippines, she has lived in Paris and studied in Mexico, Spain, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Jamaica, Antigua, Israel, the former Soviet Union, and the People's Republic of China. In retirement, Polson continues to study and create art, exploring her interest in foil stamping printmaking and the "tree of life" motif. In June 1993, she studied at the University of Iowa with Virginia Myers, the inventor of the Iowa Foil Printer, and, in July, she studied at the C.G. Jung Center in New York City. Dr. Polson's former students have encouraged her pursuits and honored her by planting an ornamental cherry tree outside Wey Hall. Polson says of the living tribute and the students who have given it, "I was deeply touched by this gift and will think of them as 1 pass in and out of that building continuing my work with foil stamping in printmaking." Dr. Polson received her emerita status on March 19, 1993; and in June 2000, she moved to Deerfield, an Episcopal retirement community located near Asheville, North Carolina. Her new cottage, along with eight others, was built that winter as part of their phase two building program. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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