Simon Baruch (1840-1921)

By J. Campbell Phillips (1873-1949), 1948 | Oil on canvas, 42 x 34

Simon Baruch emigrated with his family from Poland in 1851 and settled in Camden, S.C. He attended the Medical College of the State of South Carolina for a year before graduating from the Medical College of Virginia in 1862. During the Civil War he served as surgeon in the Confederate States of America Medical Department. After the war, he returned to his hometown of Camden, where he set up a medical practice. He was active in professional and civic organizations, including the South Carolina Medical Association of which he was president in 1874 and the South Carolina state board of health of which he was elected chairman in 1880.

Baruch moved to New York City in 1881 and was an active proponent of hydrotherapy. Baruch’s Jewish heritage is well-publicized. His son, Bernard M. Baruch, was a wealthy financier who financed the construction of MUSC’s Baruch Auditorium in 1940.

Commissioned and presented to MUSC by Dr. Baruch’s son, Mr. Bernard Baruch, 1953.

Conservation Needs:

Proposed treatment includes removing grime and discolored varnish, consolidating areas of lifting or fragile paint, filling losses (as needed), reducing canvas distortion, revarnishing surface, and proper reframing.

Frame requires repair and cleaning, filling and consolidation of gesso, removal of overpaint, and surface toning.

Donate to preserve the Simon Baruch portrait »


The goal for the project is $150,000 which will pay for all the work to conserve these visual treasures. The cost for each portrait’s conservation ranges from $1,200 to $15,000.

This cost includes the conservation/ treatment report, conservation of the canvas and frame, and any costs associated with the treatment such as curatorial research and documentation, photography, transportation, and insurance.

Donor Recognition

Donors who adopt a portrait will receive named recognition during the portraits absence in the form of a sign reading, “Portrait being conserved through the generous support of [your name].”

When the portrait is returned a celebratory reception will be held at which the donor will be honored for his or her support of the project. Finally, the finished portrait will be reinstalled in the Waring with a permanent sign reading, “This portrait was conserved in [year] by the generous support of [your name].”

As a thank you gift, donors will be offered a reproduction of their “adopted” portrait, printed on canvas and suitable for framing.

Project Kick-Off

In order to kick-start the project, the WLS sent the portrait of Alexander Baron off for conservation.

Dr. Baron was selected for two reasons: first, the sitter, Dr. Baron, was a founding member of the Medical Society of South Carolina, whose generous support of the Waring has enabled us to conserve and digitize numerous items from the collection.

Second, the artist of the portrait was Samuel B. Morse, whose portraiture career in Charleston included painting the city’s leaders.