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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) - The Stargazer
  2. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  3. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  4. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  5. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  7. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  8. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  9. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  10. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  11. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  12. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  13. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  14. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  15. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  16. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  20. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  22. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  24. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot