The managing director of the New England Consulting Group, John B. Richards is an accomplished CEO and board member who specializes in providing strategic guidance pertaining to brand development and growth. John B. Richards has served in leadership roles at several corporations including Starbucks, Life Time Fitness, Elizabeth Arden- Red Door Spa, Four Seasons Hotels, and Dean & Deluca. Aside from his professional responsibilities, Mr. Richards enjoys impressionist art.
When impressionist artists began displaying their work in the mid-1870s, respected art critics received it with disdain. The innovative methods used by the group, then known as the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers, etc., were critiqued for the way they portrayed traditional subject matter.
One gallery owner and entrepreneur, however, broke from the critics and embraced the new style that studied the effects of light and color. His name was Paul Durand-Ruel, and he dedicated the remainder of his life to supporting the artists that make up what is now known as the Impressionist Movement.
Durand-Ruel bought over 5,000 paintings and works by artists such as Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Cassatt, Manet, and Degas. Though a market for these ground-breaking works did not yet exist, Durand-Ruel recognized the potential return on his investment. As the years went by and public opinion didn’t sway, he continued to provide encouragement and financial support to the revolutionary band of artists.
In 1886, Durant-Ruel boxed up a portion of his collection of impressionist paintings and embarked on a journey to the United States. There, the paintings received extensive acclaim, resulting in the sale of the entire lot. After the success in America, European society began to recognize the beauty and innovation of the impressionist artists. Toward the end of his life, Durant-Ruel, and the impressionist artists he supported, were finally able to bask in the success of their creative endeavors.