The Preservation Society of Newport County has announced that it will present Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement and Oscar Wilde’s Newport, March 24 – November 4, 2018. The exhibition, on view in the second floor galleries at Rosecliff (1902), celebrates the ideas embodied by the artists, poets and thinkers popular during the Aesthetic Movement (1870-1890), an important era of artistic experimentation here and abroad.

The Aesthetic Movement championed pure beauty and “art for art’s sake,” emphasizing the sensual and visual qualities of art and design over moral or even practical considerations. Aestheticism manifested itself in ordinary household items; one of its tenets was that it be part of everyday life and not limited to painting, sculpture and architecture. Its influence can be seen in ceramics, metalwork, furniture, glass, jewelry and interiors of the period.

Bohemian Beauty will feature more than 80 examples of such objects drawn from the Preservation Society’s collection as well as significant loans from eight other prominent museums and private collections: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, The Collection of Richard H. Driehaus, Chicago, The Ohio State University Historic Costume and Textiles Collection, The Newport Historical Society, The Providence Athenaeum, University of Rhode Island Historic Textile and Costume Collection, and The Collection of Dr. Philip Maddock.

Irish poet Oscar Wilde was a leading proponent of the Aesthetic Movement in Britain and traveled to North America in 1882 to share his message. His tour included 140 lectures in 260 days and stretched from New York to San Francisco.  Here in Newport, at the invitation of Julia Ward Howe, he lectured on “The Decorative Arts” at the Casino Theater on July 15, 1882, an event attended by Newport’s most “prominent cottagers.”

Wilde’s tour raised awareness and interest in interior decoration.  The style was influential in the Gilded Age, as it merged interests in traditional crafts – a precursor of the Arts & Crafts Movement – with the influence of industrial design and new technologies in manufacturing.

Admission to the exhibition is included with regular Rosecliff tour admission.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.NewportMansions.org

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history.  Its 11 historic properties–seven of them National Historic Landmarks–span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.