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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 - Crest of the Hill
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  3. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  4. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  5. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  7. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  10. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  11. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  12. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  13. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  14. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  16. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  17. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  18. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  19. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  23. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  24. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable