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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. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  2. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  3. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  6. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  8. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  13. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  15. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  18. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  20. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  21. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  22. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  23. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde