'The Wave' – Newport, Rhode Island - Atlas Obscura

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'The Wave'

An ode to Japanese artist Hokusai, with a bit of a comical twist.  


While wandering through downtown Newport, visitors may be taken aback to see two bronze feet sticking out while crossing Thames Street.

The feet and the accompanying wave are courtesy of artist and sculptor Katharine Worden, a familiar figure in the lively Newport art community. In 1983, Worden unveiled “The Wave.” The design was a twist on Hokusai’s famous work. Worden’s wave swaps the intense majesty of Hokusai’s piece for one that is a bit more humorous. A pair of feet stick straight out from the bronze wave pointing right towards any and all passerby.

Newport locals have taken “The Wave” under their wing in their own special way. In the summer, the statue’s feet shine bright as the bronze is polished by the hands of passersby. During the winter, when Newport becomes cold, anonymous locals will put socks on the feet. 

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August 29, 2022

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