Letters From Leton: The Right Impression

Recently, we went to an exhibit at the Biltmore Art Gallery featuring Claude Monet and his contemporaries.

The art was magnificent, but the story behind what we now view as an important part of art history was just as interesting to me.

Until the time of Monet, Manet, Lautrec, Renoir, Morisot, and Cezanne Degas, painters were confined to studios with limited natural light. Their art was influenced by being tied to a physical location – inside the studio (much like our customers were once tied to the physical location of the bank).

That was until American painter John Rand invented the first collapsible paint tube. Interesting, isn’t it, how technology changes things?

Once the paint tube was invented, painters were free to paint from anywhere – including outside in the natural light. Just like you or me, being out in the sun and fresh air in the summer stimulated these talented men and women immensely.

Now for the term “impressionism,” we must turn to art critic Louis Leroy’s scathing review of the first art exhibit to include works from artists we would now call impressionists, including Manet. Leroy shared that the artists’ work gave the “wrong impression,” and made him long for the good old days of the masters.

The artists, being much more creative than the critic, took the intended pejorative term and turned it into an overall theme for their new way of art – Impressionism.

Isn’t it interesting that in life, art, business, banking – some folks want to keep things as they were? Like Louis Leroy, they are fearful of change.

New technology, like the paint tube, allows for flexibility and creativity by folks who are not bound by the old ways of painting (or banking).

I am not an art expert, nor do I have much, if any, creative talent.

Yet I know that to make the Right Impression, we all must be willing to move forward in time.

Stay safe.

– Leton


“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.