Tuesday, February 7, 1882
See Clarification Below
Utica Weekly Herald, February 14, 1882
Police were called to Wilde lecture after students from Rochester University caused a disturbance and had to be ejected.
Rochester Union and Advertiser, February 8th, 1882
S. St. Paul Street (later South Avenue), Rochester, NY
The New York Times, February 20th, 1891
Around this time Wilde changed the name and content of his lecture.
Merlin Holland (Complete Letters) describes how Wilde's original lecture was 'too lengthy and theoretical for many in his audience' and that Wilde shortened and retitled it to give it wider appeal.
The new lecture became variously billed as Art Decoration, Decorative Art in America, etc., and it is probable that Wilde adapted them slightly to suit different audiences' (Holland). For this reason all variants of this lectures are listed in this chronology as 'The Decorative Arts'.
But when and where did Wilde switch from The English Renaissance to The Decorative Arts?
In an interview with Wilde printed in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, February 8th, 1882, 4, the lecture subject is cited as The English Renaissance, but a suggestion of change had already begun with Wilde’s lecture in Utica on February 6. Kevin O'Brien in Oscar Wilde in Canada: An Apostle for the Arts (1982), posits that Wilde delivered The English Renaissance for the last time in Buffalo on February 8 and The Decorative Arts for the first time in Chicago (his next lecture) on February 13. Therefore this Rochester lecture was still in a state of transition.
See here for a review of all Wilde's Lecture Titles.
In an interview with Wilde printed in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, February 8th, 1882, 4, Wilde alluded to ruins and curiosities originally being used in connection with Charles Dickens. See Quotations.
Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2018