Jack of all Trades: Yeats’s Punch cartoons and illustrations by Irish painters
National Gallery of Ireland, Print Gallery
28 July - 2 December 2012
Established in 1841, Punch was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire which, throughout its history, provided an outlet for writers such as Thackeray and Somerset Maugham, as well as cartoonists and noted illustrators including John Leech and Richard Doyle. In 1910, while establishing himself as an oil painter, Jack B. Yeats secretly began to contribute illustrations to the popular magazine Punch, under the pseudonym of W. Bird. He provided over 500 illustrations to Punch up until 1948. This exhibition of the Gallery’s collection of sixty-three Punch illustrations by Yeats provides an opportunity to highlight a little-known aspect of the artist’s career. They offer an insight into the artist’s dry humour and fertile imagination, an aspect of his character that also manifested itself in his work as a painter. A variety of items from Yeats’s personal library will also be on view. In addition, a combination of original and published illustrations and cartoons by other Irish artists (Matthew James Lawless, William Crampton Gore, Aloysius O'Kelly and Richard Thomas Moynan) who worked for the popular press will be on display, illustrating the wider tradition of this practice in Irish art.