Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sights to See: Amarillo, Texas, Cadillac Ranch


Cadillac Ranch  West of town, on old Route 66, south of I-40 between exits 60 and 62.  The Cadillac Ranch is one of the most famous art installations in the United States.

overview of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
overview of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


It was created along the iconic Route 66 in 1974 by Stanley Marsh 3 in collaboration with Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels--who were a part of the Ant Farm art group in San Francisco.  A tribute to the Golden Age of American automobiles, it consists of ten Cadillacs (1948 to 1963 models) that are nose-dived bottoms up into the ground and partially buried.  It reminds me of the moai statues on Easter Island.  Because it is so dramatic, this installation has been featured in a variety of music videos and movies, including “Rockin' the Caddy at Cadillac Ranch, TX.”  The installation was moved in 1997 from its original cow pasture location, but is still out in a cow pasture.  People park their cars along the road and walk in.

entrance to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
entrance to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


dirt road leading to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
dirt road leading to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


Over the years, visitors started adding their own flair to the buried cars with spray paint.  This can be a problem when the wind is blowing, because you and your clothing can also wind up more colorful.  If you’re going to indulge, bring plastic gloves and maybe even a plastic rain cover or garbage bag to protect your clothing.  I wound up getting nauseous from the paint can fumes, so it isn’t a bad idea to also bring along a respirator mask to protect you from the aerosol fumes--it also winds up making you look like you are a serious graffiti artist.  At least one guy in town collects the peeling paint and turns it into souvenir jewelry.

overview of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
overview of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


visitor taking a picture at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
visitor taking a picture at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


visitor working with spray can at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
visitor working with spray can at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


visitor working with spray can at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
visitor working with spray can at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


visitor taking a selfie at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
visitor taking a selfie at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas


More things to do in Amarillo.

More things to do in Texas.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

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