Uncovered: Vintage Nutcracker

Our 1944 Nutcracker was the first-ever full-length version seen in the United States, launching a national holiday tradition that's still going strong almost 70 years later. Now we've delved into the archives at the San Francisco Museum of Performance & Design to bring you these vintage shots of SF Ballet Nutcrackers gone by—almost all of which have never been seen online before!

  • Autographed image of Celina Cummings as the Rose from “Waltz of the Flowers” in Willam Christensen's Nutcracker, 1944; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Celina Cummings in Willam Christensen's Nutcracker, 1945; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Carolyn George as the Rose from “Waltz of the Flowers” in Lew Christensen and Willam Christensen's Nutcracker, 1952; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Young girl putting stage makeup on a fellow dancer in preparation for the second version of Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1954; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Conrad Ludlow as the Cavalier in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1954; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Flowers from “Waltz of the Flowers” in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1954; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Louise Lawler as a Flower in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1954; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Glenn Chadwick as the Teddy Bear and Beve Arnold as the Doll from Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1954; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Dancer from Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1955; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Two dancers from Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1955; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Christine Bering as Queen of the Snow in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1956; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Constance Coler as Shepherdess and Matilda Abbe and Suki Schorer as Sheep in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1956; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Sally Bailey in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1956; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Jocelyn Vollmar and Roderick Drew as Queen and King of the Snow in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1958; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Betsy Erickson (who’s now ballet master at SF Ballet!) backstage at a taping of Lew Christensen's Nutcracker for ABC-TV, 1964; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Dancers in the “Waltz of the Flowers” in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1966; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Working on a costume for the third production of Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1967; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Lynda Meyer as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1967; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Virginia Johnson and David Coll as Queen and King of the Snow from Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, 1967; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

  • Henry Berg and Sue Loyd in Lew Christensen's Nutcracker, date unknown; Image courtesy Museum of Performance & Design

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