Major work by Jack B Yeats on display at City MuseumNovember 15, 2012 - 8:00am
A collection of 20 drawings and paintings by the great Irish artist, Jack B. Yeats will be officially opened this Saturday, November 17 at Galway City Museum. The show is on loan from Sligo’s Niland Gallery which has the largest collection in Ireland of work by the artist and brother of the poet, WB Yeats.
The Niland Collection is housed in Sligo’s Model Arts Centre and, according to Breandán Ó hEaghra, Deputy Director of Galway City Museum, the two institutions have been building up a relationship over the past year and a half.
This is the third art exhibition that the Niland has loaned to Galway – the previous two were Female Artists of the 20th Century and Irish Artists of the 20th Century.
“This is a big one for us,” says Breandán, explaining that the show covers all periods of Yeats’ life.
The 20 pieces include many of his most renowned works such as Communicating with Prisoners from 1924, and An Island Funeral from the previous year.
Earlier work includes The Metal Man, a drawing from the mid 1890s, as well as Political from 1898, an important piece in charting his development. One of the most striking pieces from his later period is The Singing Clown: Johnny Patterson Singing Bridget Donohue, which dates from 1928.
Jack B Yeats, who died in 1957, worked as an illustrator for magazines and newspapers in his early years as an artist and he was also a prolific writer, explains Breandán. His work evolved gradually as a result of personal experience and his continual experimentation until, at the time of his death, he was among the country’s leading painters.
This show has been hung in a windowless room in the museum and although the official opening is this Saturday, it has been on view to the public since last weekend.
“This room allows us to bring in shows such as this because there’s a dehumidifier which keeps the temperatures constant,” says Breandán of the space.
The Jack B Yeats exhibition is being displayed along with a show exploring the relationship between art and industry, which is on loan from the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny.
Between Art and Industry is on the top floor of the building and features stunning coloured glass sculpture by Róisín de Buitlear (a granddaughter of the artist Charles Lamb), which explores the history of the Waterford Glass workers. There are ceramics by Neil Brownsword focusing on the history of ceramic manufacture in Stoke-on-Trent, and weaving exhibits from Molloy & Sons of Donegal.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.