The exhibition will be arranged in four main chronological sections, charting the development of the Aesthetic Movement in art and design through the decades from the 1860s to the 1890s. As well as paintings, prints and drawings, the show will include examples of all the 'artistic' decorative arts, together with drawings, designs and photographs, as well as portraits, fashionable dress and jewellery of the era. Literary life will be represented by some of the most beautiful books of the day, whilst a number of set-pieces will reveal the visual world of the Aesthetes, evoking the kind of rooms and ensembles of exquisite objects through which they expressed their sensibilities.
Carte de visite of Oscar Wilde.
Photographed by W & D Downey
Museum no. PH.889-1956
Carte de visite of Oscar Wilde. Museum no. PH.889-1956
Sheet-music cover for 'Quite too Utterly Utter'
Published by Hopwood & Crew
Printed by Stannard & Sons
Museum no. S.34-1993
In the 1880s many popular songs affectionately satirised the figure of the Aesthete.
Pen, ink and wash
Museum no. E.578-1932
Beardsley considered this to be the finest of his early drawings and he gave it to his mentor Edward Burne-Jones.
Cover design for 'The Sphinx' by Oscar Wilde
Published by Elkin Mathews & John Lane
Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge
Vellum-covered boards blocked in gold
Museum no. NAL: Drawer 67
Ricketts designed the typography, illustrations and binding for this edition of Oscar Wilde's Aesthetic poem The Sphinx. The binding combines Byzantine and Japanese motifs.