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 Carey Cloud  (1899 - 1984)

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Lived/Active: Indiana/Arizona      Known for: landscape painter, children's book illustrator, designer

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C. Carey Cloud is primarily known as Carey Cloud

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
"The Cabin"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An artist and toy designer, C. Carey Cloud, through his Cloudcrest Studios (later Cloudcrest Creations), developed hundreds of prizes for Cracker Jack boxes from the late 1930s through the 1950s.  Among the memorable prizes were: Clown Rocker, Paper Doll, Tin Litho Garage, Cowboy Puzzle, Parrot Puzzle, Humpty Dumpty Stand-Up, and many others.  He was one of the most prolific Cracker Jack prize designers.
"Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back.” was the line in Jack Norworth’s 1908 “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” immortalizing a snack food in song.  The popcorn, peanuts, and molasses confection was introduced by F. W. Rueckheim and his brother to a snack-craving public in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago’s first World’s Fair.  “A Prize in Every Box” became its advertising slogan when toys and baseball cards were inserted into every package.  More than 23 billion toys have been given out since they were first introduced in 1912.  Some old Cracker Jack prizes are valued today at more than $7,000.
One series Cloud created were his Nursery Rhyme series.  The Humpty Dumpty stand-up Cracker Jack prize toy by Cloudcrest Studios is die-cut to fold out into a three-dimensional 2 3/16" tall stand-up.  Humpty Dumpty is in the foreground, and the King's man on the King's horse and the high brown wall are in the background. When the stand-up scene is viewed from the front, the yellow bricks are horizontal and don't show.  Other prizes in his Nursery Characters series were: Mother Goose, Cat and Fiddle, and Mary's Lamb.  Each stand-up has the appropriate nursery rhyme on the back.
Cloud's Goofy Circus book was available for 10 cents plus the foil seal from the lid of cans of Chocolate Flavored Ovaltine.  Within the book were 58 cut-outs, including some that moved, such as the Rocking Circus Horse.  His Soco game (1946) used green, red-orange, and black colors, and the same colors were used on many Cloud prizes from that period.
Another prize was an owl shaped paper whistle, one of a series of ten.  The Cracker Jack Company ordered these embossed paper whistles from Cloudcrest in 1948 and again in 1949.  Other whistles in the series have illustrations of a boat, a cat, a clown, a long-necked crane, a Scottie dog, an open-palmed hand, a monkey, a train, and a wolf.  They are all red and off-white. Each of the whistles has a different design on the back, and all in the series are marked "CRACKER JACK WHISTLE.

Cloud wrote about the difficulty in perfecting these paper whistles in his autobiography, Cloud Nine (published 1983):

"Once I designed a paper fluted whistle.  They said it couldn't be done.  I had to find the right weight and quality of paper that would stand sharp embossing.  This accomplished, we went into production of several million.  However, we found that about every twentieth whistle failed to sound.  They had to be one-hundred percent whistle-able. Frustrating as growing days: 'Go where the knowledge is.' I went to the Hammond Organ Company, in Chicago, taking along a handful of whistles.  I asked to see their engineer and was ushered into his office;  I told him my problem.  He patiently took several whistles apart.  Then he told me what the problem was, as simple as it was.  We made the correction and had no further trouble.
None of the whistles in this series had any indication on them that they came from Cloud's company, Cloudcrest, which was unusual, as Cloud generally made sure that his creations were identified.

Also moveable were the many pop-up books which he designed and illustrated, several in collaboration with Harold Lentz (Little Red Riding Hood (1934), Goldilocks and the Three Bears (1934), etc).

In addition to creating Cracker Jack prizes through his Cloudcrest Studios, C. Carey Cloud worked in the 1930s for Blue Ribbon Publishing, the company that introduced the term "pop up" for their three-dimesional children's books whose characters 'popped up'.  For Blue Ribbon, Cloud illustrated the pop-ups Puss in Boots and with Harold Lentz, Little Red Riding Hood, both published in 1934.

As a Brown County, Indiana fine-art painter, Cloud exhibited landscape scenes with the Hoosier Salon between 1931 and 1968.  Among his titles were Autumn Evening, September Hills and Autumn Comes to the Village.
Jim Davis and the website:
the website
Website of Blue Ribbon Publishing Company
Rare Books Online
Judith Vale Newton and Carol Weiss, A Grand Tradition: The Art and Artists of the Hoosier Salon, 1925-1990, p. 182
C. Carey Cloud, Cloud Nine

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted February 2005, is from Sylvia A. Straub whose source is a brochure given to her by the artist and likely written by him:

My husband and I met Carey Cloud in the mid seventies on the the day we bought an oil painting titled Picnic in Brown County, IN.  We simply went to his home on the southern edge of Nashville, IN, where he lived (on a hill called Cloudcrest) and knocked on the door.  When we told him of our purchase, he invited us in, and told us a few things about his life.

He was born in Indiana and in his early years, tried to make a living as an artist, but because of the Depression, found it difficult.  Without giving up his art, he went to work designing and manufacturing the metal Cracker Jack toys.  He continued that work for many years, into the late forties or early fifties I believe.  He was the only designer and manufacturer of the toys during the period in which the Cracker Jack company used metal toys.  After that, they were made of plastic.

He considered his art to be in the same school of realism as that of Andrew Wyeth. Mr. Cloud seemed happy for the company and for our appreciation of his work.  He must have been in his eighties at that time.  A delightful gentleman.

Dr. Karl Bookwalter of Indiana University has written about Carey Cloud.  He described his studio as being "log cabin type nestled among tall oak trees above the valley . . . just one mile away" from Nashville, Indiana.  From this studio, he does "nostalgic paintings of Americana" that "possess an air of peace and calmness so rare for these harried times. . . ."C. Carey Cloud is identified with no school of painting. He is self-taught. He pays little attention to the 'isms' in art or the popular forms and accepted concepts; he paints entirely to please himself and has found the public receptive to his way."

Cloud was born on a farm four miles south of Warren, Indiana.  He began his career after World War I with a newspaper in Cleveland and then moved to Chicago where he designed children's books, greeting cards and did magazine illustrations.  He was also an Art Director for a publisher.

After this, he got into the toy manufacturing business, and he patented several toys that were sold widely by chain stores.  For a quarter of a century, he designed and produced millions of toys for Cracker Jack boxes.  In 1948, he moved to Brown County, Indiana but continued his toy designing for Cracker Jacks until 1964 when he decided to devote full time to painting.  Since then "he has been painting in near-microscopic detail which he calls Realism in Depth, a mixed media: tempera, acrylic, sometimes glazed in oil".

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