Thursday, February 05, 2009

Theme Thursday - Statue

Well, I broadened the definition of "statue" to include anything that would fit the category of "statuary". Being a resort town, Newport has a lot of interesting things plopped down in public intended as decoration. Also, being founded in 1639, there are also some interesting things in Newport's cemeteries. So I'm offering you a mixed bag today.

The whale sculpture (or dolphins; it's tough to tell) in Perrotti Park on Newport Harbor.

A gravestone in the Common Burying Ground in the north end of Newport on Farewell St. Most of this cemetery is crowded with the archetypal flat slate stones from colonial times, but this monument is pure Victoriana!

"The Wave" by Kay Worden. This bit of sculpture sits in front of the old Perry Mill, now a shopping area and time share hotel, at America's cup Blvd. and Thames St. People are always putting things on the feet - socks, shoes, even flip-flops in the Summer. The temptation is just too great to pass up, I guess.

A close-up of the memorial Celtic Cross in the Barney St. Cemetery, where some of Newport's earliest Irish immigrants are buried. You can read about the history of this cemetery here. Some day I'll publish that article here on this blog as well.

One of two Pelicans on the gateposts flanking the driveway of a private estate on Bellevue Ave. called Pelican Lodge. Nothing historical or anything about them; I just pass by them all the time and like them!

One of the two marble sphinxes flanking the entry doors to the Bellevue Ave. mansion The Elms. Not a private residence any more, but one of 7 or 8 mansions owned and run as museums by The Preservation Society of Newport County. I love these door guards at The Elms because I find it hilarious that somebody thought of the idea of having bronze putti riding on the backs of marble sphinxes. The rich people who owned these places probably didn't have this sense of humor - I suspect it was the architect having fun!

And finally, this detail shot of the sculpture of a Japanese object of some sort or other, next to the statue of Commodore Matthew Perry, the man who re-opened Japan to trade with the rest. Perry was a homeboy, hence the statue in his honor. He was the younger brother of the famous Oliver Hazard Perry, commander of the battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, who reported the victory by his fleet with the words: "We have met the enemy and they are ours..."

And there you go, statues in Newport, RI!

© 2008 & 2009 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. B&W really focuses the eye, in these cases. I especially like the Celtic cross and the final closeup.

  2. I enjoyed seeing all these-certainly a mixed bag! I liked the wave best:)

  3. I too would be tempted to put something on the feet!

  4. cool looks like a wonderful place to live or visit!

  5. wow, what an eclectic mix... do you remember how the Big Boy restaurants used to have statues of Big Boy out front ... people were always stciking beer cans in his hand ...
    I think the whales sculpture is my favorite, interesting in its composition.

  6. That first one looks like dolpins making love.



  7. I love the wave and I think I would like to put something on the feet - or maybe paint them? With paint that just washes off in the rain, of course!

  8. Roy, these are just stunning. Thank you for sharing.

  9. wonderful assortment....

    i have a photo of that wave sculpture where a four year old em is sitting in the wave (which means i snapped it 25 years, seems like it was just the other day....tempus fugit!)

  10. how you photograph your town. It's very interesting. The wave cracks me up...a perfect sculpture for summer fun!

  11. roy, again you amaze and challenge me. these are just amazing photos.

    love kris's comment! course i like filth!!

  12. All good photos. The pelican is my fave of the 'statuaries' depicted.

  13. Those animals in your first Statue are not dolphins, they are harbor seals. In the wintertime in Newport there are many seals, (grey, spotted,and harbor)that come migrate from the Arctic down to warmer water here in Newport. Check out the tail flipper, that;s the only sign that this statue is of seals.