• Wed, October 16, 2019
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street NW Washington DC


  • MEMBERS - free
    GENERAL PUBLIC - $10 (pay at the door)

Registration is closed

Oscar Wilde's 165th Birthday Celebration  

The Literary Committee of the Arts Club of Washington invite you to a reception and presentation by Wilde lecturer Christopher Griffin

Music and songs from Stephen Wade


Wednesday, October 16th, at 6:30 pm

Open to the public
Arts Club Members: Free   -   General Public: $10


This illustrated talk will explore the wit, works, and woes of Oscar Wilde.  Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, from fascinating parents in Dublin.  He excelled at Trinity College Dublin and at Oxford.   He toured the USA in 1882 before he had any great achievements, but he was a modern celebrity, famous for being famous.  He read in a silver mine in Colorado and lectured on Irish poetry in San Francisco.  


In Washington, DC, he met Henry James, who described him as a “fatuous fool” and a “tenth-rate cad” to Henry and Clover Adams. James did agree with Wilde’s advice to Washington on sculptures: “you don’t want any more bronze generals on horseback, I dare say. Suppose you try the motives that peace will give you now.”  Wilde also visited Jeff Davis on the Mississippi sound. 

 Wilde’s works of genius and talent have outlasted his life by over a century. We still enjoy his witty plays, such as The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, Lady Windermere’s Fan, andSalome; his provocative novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray; his prison memoir and love letter full of recriminations, De Profundis; poems such as The Ballad of Reading Gaol; and children’s stories such as “The Selfish Giant” and “The Happy Prince.” While he had two hit plays in the West End, his three trials led to two years in three jails.

 Christopher Griffin, like Oscar, attended Trinity College Dublin for two years but in a different century. Griffin teaches popular classes at Politics and Prose including courses on Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, Heaney, and Shakespeare. He has been a lecturer on 16 Smithsonian Journeys and has lectured at Smithsonian Associates.

 While not necessarily released in conjunction with Oscar’s birthday, October marks the publication of author and musician Stephen Wade’s latest album: A Storyteller’s Story: Sources of Banjo Dancing

Photo Caption: 

Wilde Lecturer Griffin and daughter at Dublin Sculpture of Wilde

Reservations required

Complimentary parking after 6 pm at 2001 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.

For more information please call (202) 331-7282 ext 120

Online payments are non-refundable. Paid tickets can be canceled online for an account credit until 6:30 pm on 10/13/2019.

The Arts Club of Washington is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. located at 2017 I Street N.W., Washington D.C. 20006

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