By guest author, Daniel Zalkus
CBS television, under the art direction of Bill Golden, assigned many on-the-spot jobs. One such assignment was the CBS calendar, which was illustrated by a different artist each year.
Artists were sent to the television studio to capture, through drawing, the behind the scenes activity. The drawings generated were printed without studio tweaking or editorial modification.
In 1958 the famed fashion illustrator, Carl Erickson (“Eric”), was assigned the job.
Utilizing a variety of tools, from ink to wash to pencil, he drew the actors, television men, producers, costume designers, etc., whose daily routines were the typical scene of that time.
“The Blue Convention” is another CBS project from that era.
Artist Felix Tolpolski was sent to report about both the Democratic and Republican national conventions of 1956, work that was later printed as a book.
From the inside front cover:
“Felix Topolski is one of the very few artists who can draw at top speed with 12,000 people milling about him. And because he is a Polish-born Londoner who has drawn his way through four continents in war and peace he can draw the American Scene in an election year with political neutrality. Since these were unique qualifications for such an assignment, CBS Television invited him to attend both national conventions where he recorded these free and spontaneous reactions to a uniquely American political institution.”
Visual journalism had reached its height.
* Daniel Zalkus is an illustrator with a passion for on-the-spot drawing. You can see some of Daniel's own excellent work at his website.