The Preservation Society of Newport County hosts a series of lectures this Spring in conjunction with its new exhibition “Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement and Oscar Wilde’s Newport.” Also on the Spring Events calendar is a new Book Club, special tours, workshops at Green Animals and a Military Appreciation Family Day at Chateau-sur-Mer. For full details of all events and to purchase tickets, please visit

Thursday, April 12, 6:00 p.m., Rosecliff
Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years
Dr. Nicholas Frankel, Author & Professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $10 / General Public $15

Oscar Wilde’s self-imposed European exile after his release from prison in 1897 until his death in Paris in 1900 has until now been regarded as the tragic coda to a brilliant career. Join critically acclaimed author and scholar Nicholas Frankel as he illuminates Wilde’s previously unexplored final years during which he lived with remarkable spirit and determination, unapologetic about his lifestyle, keen to lend his voice to the cause of prison reform and determined to resurrect his literary career.

Saturday, April 14, 10:30 a.m. – Noon, Isaac Bell House
Book Club
The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray: A Reader’s Edition by Oscar Wilde
Discussion led by Dr. Nicholas Frankel, Virginia Commonwealth University
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $10 / General Public $15

You may think you have read Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray but chances are you did not read the original, uncensored version as Wilde wrote it – because this material was never published in the printed book. Join fellow book lovers and Wilde expert Dr. Nicholas Frankel, editor of the recently released version, and examine the differences between the two editions.

Tuesday, May 1, 6:00 p.m., Rosecliff
“The Beauty and Joy of Color”: Whistler, Wilde, and the History of the Peacock Room
Dr. Lee Glazer, Curator of American Art, Freer/Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $10 / General Public $15

In his 1882 lecture “The House Beautiful,” Oscar Wilde urged American audiences to reform their lives by redecorating their houses, and he presented the Peacock Room—the infamous London interior by expatriate artist James McNeill Whistler—as a model to emulate. Dr. Glazer will trace the story of the room’s creation, its place in history of the Aesthetic movement, and its lingering afterlife in the twentieth century and beyond.

Sunday, May 6, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Green Animals Topiary Garden, Portsmouth
Dutch Bulbs with Dan
Free with garden admission. Space limited, advance tickets required.

Take an insightful walk through the gardens and get insider tips about how to get the most out of your Dutch bulbs.

Tuesday, May 8, 6:00 p.m., Rosecliff
“Having Somewhat Fantastic Tastes”: The Appeal of Aesthetic Jewelry
Jeannine Falino, Independent Curator & Museum Consultant, New York
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $10 / General Public $15

The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876 created a heightened awareness of design and manufacturing, influenced the shape and decoration of objects for the home, and in fashion affected costume design and jewelry. Ms. Falino will explore the social currents on both sides of the Atlantic that affected the new aesthetic jewelry of the day.

Saturday, May 12th, 10:00 a.m. – 11 a.m., The Elms
Garden Tour
The Elms: The Beaux Arts Landscape
Jim Donahue, Curator of Historic Landscapes, The Preservation Society of Newport County
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $15/ General Public $20

Visit a formal European garden without leaving Newport! Join horticultural historian Jim Donahue for a stroll through the elegant gardens at The Elms and learn about the fascinating collaborations that gave rise to one of America’s finest Beaux Arts landscapes.

Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. – Noon, Chateau-sur-Mer
Military Appreciation Family Day
Free admission, advance reservation required

Active and non-active members of the military and their families enjoy free admission to explore the house and grounds. Special family activities will be available.

Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., Chateau-sur-Mer
Garden Tour
Chateau-sur-Mer: Aristocrats and Arboretums
Jim Donahue, Curator of Historic Landscapes, The Preservation Society of Newport County
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $15/ General Public $20

Grand trees and sweeping lawns create the impression of a centuries-old family seat at Chateau-sur-Mer. In fact, the Wetmore family planned and groomed their acreage to create an aristocratic setting, complete with a very fine private arboretum. Jim Donahue will explain the site’s evolution and identify its champion trees.

Tuesday, May 22, 6:00 p.m., Rosecliff
Aesthetici​​​​sm and the Armory: The Seventh Regiment Commission and Design
Chelsea Bruner, Professor of Art History & History of Design, Ringling College of Art + Design
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $10 / General Public $15

Explore New York City’s landmark Seventh Regiment Armory, the purpose-built, privately funded headquarters for the city’s most elite volunteer militia, completed in 1880. Today it is a rare surviving masterpiece of Aesthetic Movement design with interiors by some of the most prominent designers and artists of the day including Herter Brothers, Pottier & Stymus, and Louis C. Tiffany. Dr. Bruner will share insights into the building’s commission and design and how it reveals new ways of understanding how aestheticism functioned for elite patrons in the Gilded Age.

Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., The Breakers Greenhouses, Bateman Avenue
Garden Tour
The Breakers Greenhouses & Cutting Garden: Estate Gardening Traditions
Jim Donahue, Curator of Historic Landscapes, The Preservation Society of Newport County
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $15/ General Public $20

Gilded Age Newport was an epicenter of American horticulture. The Breakers Greenhouses and cutting garden are a link to an era when estate gardeners ruled over complex operations that provided thousands of bedding plants, cut flowers and exotic houseplants for great estates. Learn how the PSNC maintains those historic traditions today.

Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. – Noon, Green Animals Topiary Garden, Portsmouth
Family Garden Fun Day
Advance tickets required. Members free/ General Public $10

This family-friendly adventure includes learning about the growing season in Rhode Island and the best seeds for your garden in the early summer, plus a seedling for you to take home for your own garden. Come prepared to play in the dirt and get messy!

Saturday, June 2 or Saturday June 16
One-Day Travel Tour
The Eustis and Bradley Estates in Milton, MA
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $95 / General Public $115

Bus departs 424 Bellevue Avenue at 9:00 a.m., returns by 5:00 p.m. Registration includes motor coach transportation, guided tours, lunch and PSNC escorts.

Visit two very different great New England estates! The first, Eustis Estate, is a rare surviving example of nineteenth-century Aesthetic Movement architecture, designed by renowned Boston architect William Ralph Emerson. Full of stunning intact details, the Eustis Estate is a historic Aesthetic Movement experience unlike any other house tour. After a short break for lunch we will travel to nearby Bradley Estate, designed by noted country house architect Charles Platt. Once an early farmstead, in 1902 Platt transformed the property into a grand estate, with a magnificent colonial revival house, stunning gardens, and 90 acres of grounds.

Tuesday, June 5, 6:00 p.m., Rosecliff
America’s Romance with the English Garden
Thomas Mickey, Author & Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies, Bridgewater State University
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $10 / General Public $15

Join Dr. Thomas Mickey for a fascinating exploration of the beginning of the modern garden industry in the 1890s, which made it possible to publish and mail seed and nursery catalogs in mass quantities across the country. Discover how this mass marketing heightened interest in the romantic English garden style through essays, illustrations and ads, and popularized the English Garden from California to Maine.

Saturday, June 9th, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., Green Animals Topiary Garden
Garden Tour
Green Animals Topiary Garden: Fantastic Creations
Dan Christina, Chief Horticulturist, Green Animals Topiary Garden
Advance ticket purchase required. Members $15/ General Public $20

Fantastic topiary, formal parterres, flowers, fruits and vegetables come together at Green Animals to create a unique garden. Late spring is one of the best times to experience Green Animals in all its variety. Join Dan Christina for a walk that has something of interest for every gardener.