Arthur 'Art' Clokey's 90th birthday follows much 'Gumby' auction success

If you've used Google today, then you'll already be aware from the search website's customised logo of the day that it's Arthur "Art" Clokey's 90th birthday.

Born 1921 and died 2010, Clokey was a pioneer of the popularisation of stop motion clay animation which began in 1955 with his experimental film, Gumbasia.

Clokey referred to his art as "trimensional animation."

Although a few other animators were experimenting with clay animation in the early 1950's, Clokey was the first to popularise the technique.

The claymation baton has since been passed on to the likes of Nick Park, creator of Wallace and Gromit, and his Aardman studio team.

But it was the Gumby television character stemming from Clokey's experiments which originally got the ball rolling.


This 'Gumby' armature and book - which acted as a portal for
the character's adventures in the TV series - sold for $3,000

Gumby and his horse Pokey have been a familiar presence on television, appearing in several series beginning with the Howdy Doody Show and later The Adventures of Gumby.

Today, Gumby became a fondly remembered part of many people's childhoods - and this has since translated to success on the auction block.

Big sales have included the original Gumby Christmas scene, complete with armatures of Gumby and his lady friend Goo.

A "holiday set" included a large hand-painted book entitled Santa's Land, being one of many books that were the doorways to Gumby's adventures through which he either drove or walked.

The set sold for $11,000 at Profiles in History in 2008.

Also auctioned at the same sale was an original Gumby armature - or moveable figurine - as used in Clokey's short films.


This scene from a Gumby Christmas special - complete with his
lady friend Goo - auctioned for $11,000

Again, the figure sold with an oversized hand-painted book with a hand-drawn watercolour of Alice and Wonderland autographed by Clokey himself.

Auctioned with an original plate reading "Original Art from GUMBY Television Series & Motion Picture Premavision Studios," also signed in blue ink by Clokey, the armature brought $3,000.

Given the past success of Gumby at auction, you will be sure to see memorabilia from Wallace and Gromit's adventures attracting significant values on the collectors' markets in future years.

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