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skelton clown

Not the exact painting. Simply an example.

I was just perusing my favorite on-line art-related zine, AccessArt, my total go-to source for art news, and was delighted to learn that the art world has been turned on its ear by the discovery, in a Missouri antique mall, of a previously-thought lost-forever work of art. — No, it’s not a Picasso. That happens all the time. Pablo Picasso was extremely prolific, to the extent that he actually painted in his sleep (see note 1). No, the rare find is in fact, a clown painting by the late entertainer, Red Skelton. Wow. What a gift.

red skelton

Red Skelton, artist, television pioneer.

The Frisky Corners antique mall, located just outside Branson, Missouri, was previously best-known for its abundant supply of $3 vintage Beanie Babies. Mall manager, Horace P. Dingwaller, said scores of people have been making the short drive from Branson, while they are in town to see shows by Jack Jones, Tony Orlando and other major super-stars, to see what rare treasures they can unearth in the 2,000 square foot mall, located in the former home of a K-Mart store.

tony orlando

Tony “Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me” Orlando.

Mr. Dingwaller stated that the extremely pleased finder of the Skelton painting wishes to remain anonymous, in order to avoid being overwhelmed by requests for viewing, from the general public, and especially members of the Skelton Clown Painting Collectors Society.

keno bros

Includes bonus, wallet-sized photo.

He is awaiting a call-back from the Keno brothers, Leigh and Leslie, hoping they will pay him a personal visit to examine, authenticate and appraise the newly-discovered work. He is also hoping to be featured on their Fox Network program, “Buried Treasure”, the successor to their previous “Find!” program, which was unfortunately cancelled.

frank fritz

What the hell is this?

His first choice was Frank Fritz, from American Pickers, but Frank was busy taking care of his mom’s dog. (See season 4, episode 7.)


The buyer hopes to place his newly-acquired treasure in an upcoming Los Angeles auction. Mr. Dingwaller said that, while the unnamed person greatly admired the work, it just didn’t work with his décor. The buyer is a major collector of frog-related art and memorabilia, and estimates he has 4,000 objects in his collection. He stated that he purchased the Skelton painting as an investment.

Personally, I would take the one Red Skelton clown painting over an entire collection of frogiana (is that a word?). Give me one statement piece which I can hang over the mantle, rather than a roomful of gee-gaws, knickknacks and amphibious tchotchkes.

skelton clown1

But then, there is no accounting for taste.


Note 1: I made that up.

beanie babies from africal 002

From the author’s collection, 1995 vintage BB’s.

Here is an appropriate song, just for you: