Ever see the row of finned Cadillacs stuck nose-first in the ground in a remote part of Amarillo, Texas? That is the Cadillac Ranch, a public art installation created by a group of creatives called the Ant Farm. The patron for the automotive art, Stanley Marsh 3, died June 17 after struggling from the effects of a stroke a few years ago.
Oil money gave Marsh the means to make his presence known in the Texas Panhandle. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in economics and history, Marsh worked as a banker and then purchased a local TV station. He was known as prankster of some repute, some of which can be seen in other art projects he’s promoted. “Art is a legalized form of insanity, and I do it very well,” he once said to critics.
The Ant Farm used beater and junk Cadillacs that showed the evolution of the fin, from 1948 to 1963. All cars were placed at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. In 1997, Cadillac Ranch was moved to nearby property, a sign of the creeping growth of Amarillo. The land on which it is situated is owned by a trust, with the display being in the care of Ant Farm.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Marsh’s attorney says the Cadillac Ranch would remain as it is.