An exhibition based on a number of significant portraits of the Yeats family has opened at The Model arts centre in Sligo.

The portraits are on long-term loan from an anonymous collector.

The collector bought the portraits at last year’s auction of paintings, drawings, prints, letters, furniture and other personal items relating to the painter John Butler Yeats and four of his children; William, Jack, Lily and Lolly and William's daughter Anne.

All of the items came directly from the Yeats family.

Emer McGarry, acting Director of The Model, said the collector was driven to buy the portraits because of one painting in particular, a self-portrait by John Butler Yeats in New York, which he feared would leave the country if he did not step in.

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The paintings are on long-term loan to the centre, and are the focal point of the 'Portrait of a Family' exhibition.

The exhibition also includes portraits from the National Gallery of Ireland and from the centre's own Niland collection.

The anonymous donor also gifted nine model boats and a wooden storage case which belonged to Jack B Yeats.

The case is unique in that it is lined with 19 watercolour drawings by Yeats.

They are in need of conservation and are not currently on display.

The Model hopes to carry out the conservation when funds can be raised to do so.