Houston Treasure for 2012
Photo by: Evin Thayer Studios
Marilyn Oshman considers herself an art, business and environmental conduit whose life has been immeasurably enriched through deep and meaningful connections within each of these sometimes disparate communities.
She served as Chairman of the Board of Oshman’s Sporting Goods, a national sporting goods retailer founded by her father Jake Oshman, from 1993 until the company merged and became The Sports Authority. She spearheaded Women and Sports, a cause-marketing program to focus on the female consumer, and created Grants for Girls to fund athletic opportunities for young women and girls. Her efforts helped to reveal a new market for the sporting goods industry.
Marilyn received a number of awards for her business activities, including being named Woman of the Year by Women in Sports and Entertainment (WISE) and Woman of the Year in Sports by Sportscast magazine, Sporting Goods Business and The New York Times.
She has served on the boards of Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. As Chairman of the Contemporary Arts Museum, she guided the institution through its recovery from a devastating flood in 1976. She gave the Ant Farm, a young architectural collective, their first commission with the House of the Century, which is now a counter-culture icon. Her tireless efforts and support have helped many artists achieve recognition.
In 1980, Marilyn formed The Orange Show Foundation and has been instrumental in its development as a nationally respected center for the study, preservation and presentation of self-taught and visionary art and artists. Over the years the Foundation has continued its mission through the restoration of the Beer Can House and the establishment of the annual Art Car Parade, a beloved Houston event.
Marilyn currently serves as Chair of The Orange Show Foundation and is on the board of the Menil Collection and the Houston Ballet. Her joy times are spent having adventures with friends and family, especially her grandchildren.