20 Apr. 2012
A few months back I wrote a blog about the donation of a very special work by Jack B Yeats, which came to The Niland Collection from a private collector in Copenhagen. The work, which dates from 1898, is one of the earliest of Jack’s small body of political works, the other early work being Robert Emmet at Carrignagat. Both works were painted after Jack witnessed the centenary celebrations of the 1798 rebellion, which were marked by the erection of the Teeling Monument in Collooney.
The blog created a bit of a stir and people were thrilled that this work had come back to Ireland and into a public collection. Some weeks later I was contacted by another private collector, this time based in Ireland, to say that they were the owner of Jack’s Robert Emmet painting and were willing to lend it to The Niland Collection on a long term loan. This was fantastic news as The Niland Collection is famous for holding Jack’s two political masterworks The Funeral of Harry Boland, 1922 and the much-loved Communicating with Prisoners, c.1924. The addition of Political, 1898 and now Robert Emmet at Carrignagat creates a body of political works within our Yeats’ collection and sheds new light on Jack’s move away from the sentimentality of his early work, to the more insightful social commentary of his middle-period works.
This summer these political works will be on view together for the first time, as part of our exhibition Yeats & Son, (12 May – 2 September) which celebrates the work of both Jack and his father the painter John Butler Yeats.
Don’t forget to cast your vote for Communicating with Prisoners in the race to find Ireland’s Favorite Painting here