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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. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  6. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  7. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  13. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  16. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  18. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  19. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  21. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  22. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  23. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell