Family affair: Father and son Yeats works go on tour for first time

A select collection of works by Jack Butler Yeats and John Butler Yeats from the Model arts centre in Sligo, home of the important Niland Collection, have gone on tour for the first time with the opening of an exhibition in Wexford at the weekend.

Family affair: Father and son Yeats works go on tour for first time

Yeats & Son — John and Jack Butler Yeats was officially opened by Emer McGarry, the deputy director of the Model arts centre, and will remain at the Wexford Arts Centre until November 21.

The exhibition comprises 14 pieces each by Jack and John B Yeats.

“The Model is delighted to partner with Wexford Arts Centre on this exhibition by both John and Jack Butler Yeats,” said Ms McGarry.

“The Niland Collection is centred around the work of the Yeats family and this show marks the first time that a joint exhibition by father and son has been presented outside of Sligo.

“Through our ongoing Niland Collection touring programming, we are very pleased to be in a position to share Sligo’s rich cultural heritage with audiences around the country.”

The Niland Collection was named after Nora Niland, the county librarian, who began collecting this body of work in the 1950s.

“What began by Nora borrowing five works by Jack B Yeats has since grown to include over 300 works of Irish art,” said Ms McGarry.

Wexford Arts Centre executive director Elizabeth Whyte said they were delighted to host the exhibition with Wexford County Council.

“In the year when we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats, it is fitting that we should host an exhibit of renowned artworks by his inspiring father John B Yeats and brother Jack B Yeats.”

The centre is also hosting an event next Monday when local writers, along with writers from the Yeats International Literary Residency, will read some of the works of WB Yeats.

“The Wexford Fringe and Opera Festival is an opportune time for Wexford Arts Centre to showcase national art of excellence to our local, national, and international visitors alike and encourage all to avail of this unique experience to visit and absorb the beauty of this stunning collection of artworks from the West while it resides with us temporarily in the South-East, during the most vibrant time to be in Wexford for an arts and culture experience,” said Ms Whyte.

‘Yeats & Son — John and Jack Butler Yeats’ runs in the upper and lower galleries of Wexford Arts Centre until Saturday, November 21.

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