Sunflower Mania

This flower became an emblem of good taste in the 1880s.

By Nancy Rutman


The mannerisms of Aesthetic men in their "greenery-yallery" velvet suits are caricatured on these 1880s trade cards advertising a wallpaper business in Pennsylvania. "People are going 'Wilde' (not Oscar) over our Aesthetic designs in wall paper," proclaims the business's proprietor, W. M. Beck.