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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. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  2. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  3. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  5. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  6. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  8. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  12. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  13. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  14. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  15. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  16. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  17. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  18. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  19. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  20. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  22. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  23. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  24. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering