Our holiday card features an illustration by Robert J. Markell of a scene from George Balanchine’s live televised production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. The ballet aired in December 1957 as part of the CBS series Seven Lively Arts. From the Robert J. Markell Collection, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries.
Robert Markell is a five-time Emmy Award winning producer, designer, network executive, and artist whose career spans over 50 years. As a producer and art director, he was integral to the production of dozens of theatrical performances, classic films, and television shows, including the first televised production of The Nutcracker (staged by George Balanchine on Seven Lively Arts, 1957), 12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda (1957), The Defenders (1961-1965), Playhouse 90 (1956-1961), and N.Y.P.D (1967-1969).
In 1954, Robert Markell received his first Emmy Awards for his set design work on the television series You Are There. He also became a successful producer with the series Playhouse 90 and The Defenders. Many successful actors and artists have worked with Mr. Markell, including Noel Coward, Mary Martin, Jackie Gleason, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, George Balanchine, Dustin Hoffman, William Shatner, Al Pacino, and James Earl Jones. Today, Mr. Markell is full-time print-maker and painter; his works are represented in private and public collections throughout the United States.