Oscar Wilde. New York: Napoleon Sarony, 1882. Mark Samuels Lasner
Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library.
Philadelphia has gone wild for Oscar Wilde with the help of Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow at the University of Delaware Library. Samuels Lasner and Margaret Stetz, the Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware, co-curated an exhibit titled “Everything is Going On Brilliantly: Oscar Wilde and Philadelphia” at the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The exhibit was on view through May 24.
The exhibit considered the life and times of the legendary British literary and cultural figure Oscar Wilde, who delivered a series of lectures in the Philadelphia area in 1882. Wilde-related materials from several public and private collections in the region showcased the writer’s work and offered a fresh spin on this well-known character’s legacy.
The sizeable exhibit occupied two galleries at the Rosenbach, both of which were decorated in an evocative, late-nineteenth-century style. The exhibit showcased important Wilde documents, including a drawing-filled poetical notebook, a fragment of The Ballad of Reading Gaol and a typescript of Salome. The exhibit received a positive review in The Wall Street Journal.
The show was made possible by a generous gift from Barbara F. Freed and Alan Mittelman in loving memory of Sheldon Tabb, and grants from the Pine Tree Foundation of New York and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.