Oscar Wilde In America

DETAiled verification of Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour of North America

Iowa City


Coldren Opera House

Thursday, April 27, 1882

The Decorative Arts



Newspaper reports

The Daily Republican, April 28?, 1882

Stated that Wilde's lecture was " a finished literary production"...that "would read well. However, we have neither inclination nor space to give a synopsis."

Source: No newspaper clipping available yet. Reference to the primary source comes The Palimpsest, Volume XVIII, No. 6: June, 1937, published by State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, IA, 1937 (Briggs, John Ely, editor).

The Vidette-Reporter, April 22, 1882, 1

Published weekly by the students of Iowa State University.


Coldren Opera House

105 College Street, Iowa City, IA, corner of Clinton Street

Built: 1877 as Grand Opera House (Robert S. Finkbine, architect)

Named for: John N. Coldren, second owner (Johnson County sheriff from 1877 to 1882)

Premises: shared the building with the Iowa City State Bank whose entrance was at the corner. The theater entrance was via two double doors on College Street to the left. 

Seating capacity: 900

Closed: 1912

Now: the area is now within the footprint of a shopping mall


Oscar Wilde autograph from Iowa City, 1882


Nebraska State Historical Society Blog

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Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2020