Navy Medical Art of the Abbott Collection

 

This exhibit on Naval Medicine in World War II was put together by Abbott Laboratories in 1943 to tour the United States as part of their contribution to the war effort. The captions to the paintings, with minor alterations, were those originally written by the artists themselves.

Enterprise and resourcefulness, in concert with genuine talent and unsparing labor, have produced this arresting delineations of Naval Medicine. During World War II, Abbott Laboratories, wanting to aid the war effort, hired civilian artists as art correspondents. With the cooperation of the armed services, they were sent to military activities in the United States and abroad. They spent many weeks living the life of medical officers and hospital corpsmen, striving for authenticity. Whether in a warship's sick bay or at a hospital corpsmen's training school, aboard a hospital ship or deep in the bush with a medical battalion of the Marines, the unending job of treating the sick and injured offered the artists great opportunities for the exercise of eyes, hands, and imaginations.

Abbott circulated the finished artwork through publications and museum exhibitions throughout the country, and after the war donated it to the military services. This exhibit highlights a sampling of this important collection.

Click the image for a larger view.

True to Life
David Stone Martin #6
Oil on canvas, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-IG


Undergoing training in maneuvers staged at the Naval Medical Field Service School, Camp Lejeune NC, to ready themselves for duty under fire, Navy hospital corpsmen attended to a "casualty" on the beachhead. Morphine has been "injected." Note the used syrette on the sand in the left foreground and while one corpsman bandages the wound, another opens a folding stretcher. In the background another corpsman hastens by on the double quick with a stretcher.


Life in Death
David Stone Martin #5
Oil on canvas, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-IF


Training to preserve life amidst a hail of death, U.S. Navy medical officers and corpsmen practice an "operation" in an underground operating room similar to the one on Guadalcanal. Everything is portable even the lights being powered by a storage battery. The muslin canopy is to catch dust falling from the ceiling as a result of "explosions" of bombs and shells.


Life Saver
David Stone Martin #12
Oil on canvas, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-IM


An artist's study of one of the hospital corpsmen learning battlefield duties at the Navy's Medical Field Service School at Camp Lejeune.


Any "Boat" in an Emergency
David Stone Martin #8
Oil on canvas, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-II


Though not as easily handled as boats, rubber life rafts serve admirably to transport wounded from beach to ship where the shore is too shallow for craft with deeper draught. This one is used in maneuvers at Camp Lejeune.


Corpsman
David Stone Martin #4
Oil on canvas, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-IE


A study of one of the Navy's "battlefield Samaritans" made during training at the Medical Field Service School at Camp Lejeune.


Splint in Time Saves Limbs
David Stone Martin #3
iNK, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-ID


Preparing for all types of wounds and injuries, officers and men train for the healing side of warfare. This is an application of a traction splint on the fractured leg of a "wounded" Marine, a treatment administered at a battalion aid station rather than on the battlefield.


Treatment Under Tents
David Stone Martin #7
Ink, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-Ih


This "casualty" in the foreground receives a splint on his "fractured" arm.


Corpsmen Relax
David Stone Martin #2
Ink, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-IC


Learning to adjust themselves to the chaos of battle conditions, Navy hospital corpsmen in training undergo a strenuous regimen. When dismissed they are quick to relax, storing up energy for the next maneuver.



10  11 



About Us | Privacy Policy | Webmaster | FOIA request | Navy.mil | This is a US Navy website