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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. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  3. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  5. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  6. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  7. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  8. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  9. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  10. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  12. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  14. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  15. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  19. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  21. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child