Cadillac Ranch, the best-known of eccentric Texas oil heir, artist, and art patron Stanley Marsh 3’s outdoor installations in and around the town of Amarillo — a Land Art-like installation of ten vintage Cadillacs planted front fender-first in a field that he commissioned from artists Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels in 1974 — has become the focus of intense debate after a series of child sex abuse accusations made against Marsh rocked the local community.
The question of whether or not to scrap the strange automotive installation has been raised in light of a new series of lawsuits that, beginning in October of last year, have accused Marsh of sexually abusing 10 teenage boys, the New York Times reports. According to local residents, there have long been rumors of such behavior, but previous accusations by allegedly abused boys have always been settled out of court, allowing Marsh to save face in a community whose members, by and large, regard him as a model citizen.
“I can tell you this town is better off for having had him in it for as long as it has,” Amarillo-based lawyer Jeff Blackburn told the Times. “Yes, we’ve heard rumors, but they’ve always remained rumors. If it turns out they are true, then we’ll do the right thing.”
Others have been less lenient in their response to the ongoing legal action, calling for the removal of Cadillac Ranch, which they see as a monument Marsh. “When people find out what this man is really like, they’ll want to come out and help me bulldoze the place,” Anthony G. Buzbee, a Houston-based lawyer who represented alleged victims of Marsh’s abuse in 1996 and 2004 before settling out of court, told the Times. “We do not need a monument that honors an alleged child predator.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photo via Wikipedia Commons.)