Reader asks county to take care of portraits
I have read repeated articles on the Barnwell County Hospital. While having local medical care is a very real concern, I have another very real concern that is not a matter of life and death.
The Barnwell County Hospital has a nice collection of portraits of local doctors who served there hanging in its corridors. Steps should be taken to safeguard and preserve these portraits if the hospital is closed. The dashingly handsome Dr. Luther Motier Mace who had the looks of a 1950's movie star but met a tragic end; Dr. Campbell Courtney Freeman, Williston's refined Southern gentleman doctor who could have easily walked from the pages of a Faulkner novel; the list could go on. These portraits are not only works of art but are also representations of men who were important in the history of Barnwell County and in the lives of its citizens. If the hospital is closed, the portraits should be removed from the building and turned over to the county museum.
There was a portrait of Imogene Thames Schumpert hanging in the Generations Unlimited building. The building was redecorated, and the portrait was removed. What happened to it? It should also be located and turned over to the museum.
Too often items of cultural significance are shoved in a closet. Years later, a janitor cleans out the closet and throws them away to make room for large shipments of toilet paper and trash can liners that happened to arrive at the same time.
The citizens of Barnwell County should contact their County Councilmen and demand the proper preservation of these portraits.
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