Born in Fresno, California on October 18, 1911, Tolegian moved to Los Angeles at age nine and first studied art there at Manual Arts High School under Frederick Schwankovsky. He then continued at the Art Students League of New York City with John Sloan, Thomas H. Benton, John S. Curry, and George Grosz. He was a boyhood friend of writer William Soroyan for whom he wrote the folk music to his Pulitzer prize-winning play "Time of your Life." Tolegian's book illustrations include Omar Khayyam's and The Dove Brings Peace. During WWII he was a correspondent in the US Army Medical Corps. After the war he settled in Sherman Oaks, California where he remained until his death on August 4, 1983. A Social-Realist during the 1930s, he painted social protest scenes and later in life specialized in realistic still lifes. He was also a writer, musician, and inventor of the first power easel.
Exhibited: PAFA, 1938; AIC, 1938, 1943; Ny World's Fair, 1939; GGIE, 1939; Crocker Art Gallery, 1941; SFAA, 1941; CGA, 1939, 1941, 1943; SFMA, 1941.
Works Held: CPLH; Crocker Museum; University of Arizona; Chico Public Library, California; Phillips Gallery, Washington, DC.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print