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Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre

The Toy Theatre

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

© Estate of Jack B Yeats. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    The Toy Theatre
  • Date
    c. 1910
  • Dimensions
    27 × 37.5cm
  • Medium
    Watercolour
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by Sligo County Library and Museum from Dawson Gallery, 1964
Description

A young boy in an old fashioned costume is playing with a cut-out theatre. His youth is accentuated by his having to stand on a stool to reach up to the table. The theatre is like the ones that Jack Yeats designed and made in the early 1900s to entertain the local children in Devon where he was living at the time. A number of these plays were published and they feature similar stories of pirates and hidden treasure as seen in the one in this painting. Yeats had an abiding passion for the theatre especially for melodrama.

Behind the boy, through the window, can be seen a large house and beyond it a ship at anchor. This setting has been identified as Sligo where Yeats would have spent many hours as a child playing in this solitary fashion with his mind full of the sea and nautical adventures. His grandfather, William Pollexfen, ran a shipping business in the town and Yeats seems in this painting to deliberately juxtapose the imagination of the child with the reality of the adult world beyond the playroom window.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  2. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  3. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  5. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  7. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  10. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  12. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  19. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  23. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  24. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay