Montgomery, AL - McDonald’s Opera House

JUNE 29, 1882

Mikhail Ellmann Page Beckson OWSOA
06 29

Montgomery, AL -  McDonald’s Opera House
“Decorative Art"

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Montgomery Daily Advertiser, June 30, 1882.

A select audience, and a very good one in number, were present last night on the occasion of Oscar Wilde's lecture on "Art Decoration." The lecturer walked on the stage alone, advanced to the table in front, and was received with a round of applause. He was dressed in a black velvet court suit, with knee breeches, dark stockings and patent leather pumps. There was a profusion of lace around his neck, down the front and at the cuffs. The familiar wood cut so often seen in the newspapers gives a very good idea of his profile, and the way he wears his hair. His bearing is erect and graceful, and he speaks with ease and fluency.

Mr. Wilde entered at once upon the subject of his lecture without introductory remarks of any kind. The lecture was one of the peculiar nature that should be heard to be appreciated, and a synopsis or even a brief sketch will not be attempted.

The lecturer has the accent and intonation peculiar to the English, and every period was closed with the rising inflection. The close and respectful attention with which the audience listened to the lecture betrayed their interest in its subject and the manner in which it was treated. Nothing interrupted it save when some good point or well rounded period excited involuntary applause which was given with the decorum characteristic of the audience from beginning to end. Mr. Wilde spoke about one hour, and at the conclusion of his interesting lecture bowed, and retired amidst the applause of his audience.

The annual hop of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity came off last night in the dancing hall of McDonald's Opera House. The hall was musical with the hum of happy voices, the harmony of the band and the quick steps of flying feet. The young ladies were looking their loveliest. The soft air of the June night was laden with the perfume of flowers that the advent of Mr. Wilde has made so popular and so plentiful. Mr. Wilde himself graced the occasion with his presence and showed that grace in practice which he so beautifully teaches in the principle. The young ladies were charmed with his splendid figure, polished manners and pleasing speech, and he was charmed by the beauty and wit and taste of Montgomery's lovely daughters. The crowd dispersed at a late hour, one and all deeply grateful to the Phi Delta Thetas for the most pleasant evening of the season.

For the title of the lecture cf.:

Montgomery Daily Advertiser, June 29, 1882.

This world famous man will arrive from Mobile today, and deliver his great lecture entitled "Decorative Art," in McDonald's Opera House this evening. Mr. Wilde draws big crowds of only the best and most refined people, and Montgomery will be an exception in Mr. Wilde's Southern tour, if the Opera House does not contain such an audience tonight. No lady has heard of Mr. Wilde that is not anxious to see and hear him; and, 'tis said, he "adores the fair sex."

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