Stanley Marsh 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Stanley Marsh 3
Stanley Marsh III[1]

(1938-01-31)January 31, 1938
DiedJune 17, 2014(2014-06-17) (aged 76)
Amarillo, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Notable work
Cadillac Ranch
Spouse(s)Gwendolyn O'Brien "Wendy" Marsh
Five adopted children

Stanley Marsh 3 (January 31, 1938 – June 17, 2014), was an American artist, businessman, philanthropist, and prankster from Amarillo, Texas. He is perhaps best known for having been the sponsor of the Cadillac Ranch, an unusual public art exhibit off historic Route 66, now Interstate 40, west of Amarillo. He was born in Amarillo in 1938.[1]


In the 1970s, Marsh collaborated with the art group Ant Farm to create the Cadillac Ranch. Marsh has also funded other public art projects in Amarillo, including the "Dynamite Museum," an ongoing project consisting of hundreds of mock traffic signs.[2] These signs, bearing messages such as "Road does not end," "Lubbock is a grease spot," and "I have traveled a great deal in Amarillo," may be found throughout the city of Amarillo. A series of the mock traffic signs are also displayed in Adrian, Texas, about forty-five miles west of Amarillo. Marsh was said to have wanted the signs to be placed in towns beginning with the letter "A". Additional public art projects sponsored by Marsh were a supposed remains of a giant statue called "Ozymandias" and the "Floating Mesa," a huge natural mesa with a narrow white band wrapped on top of it.[3][4] Despite the attention of the art projects sponsored by Marsh, critics have called them eyesores with little or no artistic value. In response to the criticism, he is quoted as saying, "Art is a legalized form of insanity, and I do it very well."[5]

Marsh appears in documentaries which featured Cadillac Ranch or the city of Amarillo such as The Plutonium Circus and Road Does Not End, a short documentary by a Dallas-based filmmaker about Marsh and the art projects he funded.[6]

In 1999, Marsh disrupted a live television broadcast from Amarillo by the cable television network The Weather Channel when he performed a Native American snow dance in front of the cameras.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Stanley Marsh 3's grandfather, Stanley Marsh, I, was an oilman who, along with Don Harrington and Lawrence R. Hagy, launched a business that developed oil and gas properties in the Texas Panhandle.[8] While Marsh was the third person in his family named Stanley, he used the Arabic numeral "3" in place of the traditional Roman numeral "III" ("the third"), as he considered the latter to be pretentious.[2]

Marsh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia with bachelor's and master's degrees in economics and history, respectively.[9]

Marsh was an Amarillo banker for a time until he purchased Texas television stations KVIA-TV and KVII-TV through the Marsh Media company.[10] He sold the stations in 2002.[9] The offices of Marsh Enterprises are located in Amarillo's tallest building, Chase Tower.

In 1975, Marsh went to Washington, D.C. dressed in a western jacket and carrying a pail of cow dung to attend the bribery trial of former Governor John B. Connally, Jr.[9]

In the 1990s, Marsh had faced four lawsuits alleging imprisonment, sexual misconduct, and harassment of teens. All four suits were settled. One of the lawsuits included a member of the Whittenburg family, the former owners of the Amarillo Globe-News.[11]

Marsh resided, with his wife, Gwendolyn O'Brien "Wendy" Marsh, in an estate called "Toad Hall". The couple has five adopted children, one named Stanley Marsh, IV (born October 1, 1968).[12] The Marsh family founded the Wendy and Stanley Marsh 3 Endowed Lectureship in Pharmacology and Neurochemistry of Substance Abuse/Addiction at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. The family donated land to Ascension Academy, an Amarillo private school. Wendy Marsh has chaired the board of trustees of Amarillo College.

In 2011, Marsh suffered a series of strokes that had by November 2012 left him incapacitated. In October 2012, Marsh was named as the defendant in a series of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of several underage teen boys, who were represented by Houston attorney Anthony Buzbee. The suit was reported settled out of court on February 21, 2013; the following statement was given at the time of the settlement: "The Plaintiffs and the Marsh entities in this case, to include Gwendolyn Marsh as Guardian for Stanley Marsh 3, have resolved all of their differences. None of the Parties is authorized to comment on the nature or amount of the settlement. The Parties agree that Stanley Marsh 3 does not own the Cadillac Ranch. The Parties will have no further comment."[13][14][15][16]

On April 10, 2013, Marsh was indicted by a Texas grand jury in Potter County for the alleged sexual assault of two teenagers between 2010 and 2011.[17] He was charged with four counts of sexual assault of a child, eight counts of sexual performance by a child, and two counts of indecency with a child.[18][19]

Marsh died under hospice care in Amarillo on June 17, 2014, at the age of 76.[20][21]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b "Public Art in Private Places: Amarillo's Unusual Signs" Archived September 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on June 7, 2006
  3. ^ "The yellow rose of Texas" Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on June 7, 2006
  4. ^ "Floating Mesa" Retrieved on June 7, 2006
  5. ^ "Unanticipated Rewards—Cadillac Ranch". Retrieved on March 6, 2006
  6. ^ "Stanley Adds 'Star' To Résumé". He was also in National Geographic Explorer's documentary, "Rt.66..The Mother Road", featuring photographer Roy Gumpel, shot in 1995. Archived June 15, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on August 25, 2006.
  7. ^ "Marsh's dance disrupts live TV broadcast " Retrieved on June 7, 2006
  8. ^ Marsh, Stanley from the Handbook of Texas Online
  9. ^ a b c "Stanley Marsh 3 dies at 76, Laredo Morning Times, June 18, 2014, p. 10A
  10. ^ "A History of ABC 7" Retrieved on June 7, 2006
  11. ^ "Marsh settles four lawsuits". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved June 7, 2006.
  12. ^ "Wendy Marsh". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved July 3, 2006.
  13. ^ Welch, Kevin (November 19, 2012). "Stanley Marsh 3's wife, firms refute teen sex suits". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  14. ^ Fernandez, Manny (November 20, 2012). "An Eccentric Texas Millionaire Is Accused of Abusing Teenagers". The New York Times. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  15. ^ Ass. Press (February 21, 2013). "Texas millionaire 3 Settles 10 civil suits filed by teens who claim he paid them for sex". Associated Press. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  16. ^ McBride, Jim. "Marsh 3, family, associate settle teen sex lawsuits". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  17. ^ McBride, Jim. "Millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 indicted on sex assault charges". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved April 11, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  18. ^ Blaney, Betsy. "Millionaire Marsh Indicted on Sex Assault Charges". Associated Press. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  19. ^ "'Cadillac Ranch' artist Stanley Marsh 3 indicted on sexual assault charges". Associated Press. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  20. ^ "Stanley Marsh 3 Dead". Sinclair Communications, LLC. June 17, 2014. Archived from the original on June 17, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  21. ^ Stanley Marsh 3, creator of 'Cadillac Ranch,' dies - Houston Chronicle Archived June 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]