Permanent Wave Society – Baker, Nevada - Atlas Obscura

Permanent Wave Society

A whimsical, punny collection of "fence art" outside the tiny mountain town of Baker, Nevada. 


Along Nevada State Routes 487 and 488, a beloved roadside collection of whimsical and punny junk art has amused travelers en route to the Lehman Caves and Great Basin National Park for years.

The collection of figures and statues—known as “Post” Impressionist Art due to its placement on fence posts—was initiated in 1997 by “Doc” Sherman, who found the practice of creating art to be therapeutic for his partially paralyzed body. Sherman’s first creation was a pair of rubber gloves filled with cement hung on the roadside fence—hence the name, “Permanent Wave.”

Over the course of two decades, the tongue-in-cheek collection has expanded to creations by other artists in the adjacent town of Baker, Nevada. It now features a skeleton rising from a grave, a “Horse with No Mane” sitting in a rusted 1918 Essex, and “Too Tall Tony,” whose large body can’t fit in his tomb. Perhaps the punniest feature of the Permanent Wave Society is a man scrubbing a 2,000 pound weight, ingeniously named “Washing-ton.”

The small and beautiful town of Baker offers a wide variety of other little-known attractions, including the Border Inn, a hotel whose rooms are in Utah while its office, restaurant, and casino are located in Nevada. This technically means that if guests at the Border Inn want breakfast at 8 a.m., they wouldn’t need to leave their rooms until 9 a.m.

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