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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. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  4. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  5. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  6. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  7. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  9. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  11. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  12. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  14. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  15. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  16. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  20. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  21. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  23. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde