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U.S. Army Treasures Camp White Paintings

In 1942, the U.S. Army constructed Camp White Station Hospital as part of its World War II training facilities.  The two-story brick building was one of the largest and best equipped military hospitals in the state.  Compared with the number of military men, the female military nurse’s unit seemed small, but its importance far exceeded its numbers.

In an effort to create a visual record of the American military in WWII, LIFE magazine and Abbott Laboratories offered to employ civilian artists as war correspondents to record the work of the Army Medical Corps.  Manuel Tolegian was among those chosen and was sent to Camp White.

Born in Fresno, Calif., in 1911, Tolegian was nine when he moved to Los Angeles to study art. After high school he continued his studies in New York and exhibited his work at the Golden Gate International Exposition.

While observing the war firsthand he created a series of paintings of the Camp White Army nurses at work.  Among his paintings were “Field Kitchen,” “Teamwork in the Field,” “Laboratory Warfare,” and “Necessary Evil.”   The Camp White artwork provided the nucleus for today’s Army Art Collection.

Sources: "Army Art Program." Center of Military History US Army. US Army, 19 Nov. 2010. Web. 5 June 2016. http://www.history.army.mil/html/museums/art-hist.html ; "Camp White Station Hospital ." Southern Oregon VA.  May 2007. Web. 6 June 2016. www.southernoregon.va.gov/docs/campwhitesurvey.; Theisen, Sarah. "Remembering Their Service." American Military Nurses in World War II. Google, Web. 5 June 2016. ; "Manuel Tolegian." Spencer Jon Heflin Fine Arts.  2003. Web. 6 June 2016. ; "Images of Women in US Army History." Center of Military History US Army.  22 Feb. 2016. Web. 8 June 2016. < www.history.army.mil › … › Women in Army History>.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.