Friday, October 3, 2014

Oscar Wilde in California

Oscar Wilde came to America on a $5,000 commission from opera company owner, Richard D'Oyly Carte, to promote Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience; or Bunthorne's Bride." The work was a satire on the aesthetic movement. Wilde developed celebrity status during the tour, with his colorful look, appearing in velvet waistcoats and britches with long hair. This publicity stunt catapulted Wilde to world-renowned fame. He introduced the ideas behind the Aesthetic Movement to San Francisco during his visit.

It is reported that Wilde enjoyed his time in California in 1882 most during his visit to the United States and was especially impressed with San Francisco.

Selected Bibliography of resources about Oscar Wilde's visit to the United States and information on the Aesthetic Movement:

  • Oscar Wilde and His Circle
         The world's largest collection of manuscripts and archival material relating to Oscar
          Wilde are available at The Clark Library at UCLA. The collection includes 90,000   
           books and 21,000 letters and manuscripts by and about Oscar Wilde.
          Clark Library collection

  • Gay Bears: The Hidden History of the Berkeley Campus
         Oscar Wilde 1854-1900
         Excerpts from The Berkelyan during Oscar Wilde's visit to the University of California
           in 1882.
          Gay Bears

  • "Wilde about California: On his 1882 trip to San Francisco, the Irishman pronounced the city 'where I belong' "
         May 5, 2013 article in the Los Angeles Times by Roy Morris Jr. LA Times article

  • Topics in Chronicling America - Oscar Wilde: Author and Asthete
         Library of Congress timeline and sample articles with links
          LC timeline and articles

  • At the Santa Monica Public Library
         Oscar Wilde Discovers America 1882 by Lloyd Lewis and Henry Justin Smith 
         921 WILDE, OSCAR

         Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America by Roy Morris, Jr.
         921 WILDE, OSCAR

        The Aesthetic Movement : prelude to Art Nouveau by Elizabeth Aslin