There are lots of organizations out there that have portraits painted, but this [Saddle and Sirloin Club] is one of the few in the country that has portraits painted as a part of their regular tradition for honoring the best and finest of their people.
Not everyone understands this, or the importance of portraits, or, in fact, the importance of tradition. Really we could just put our most honored people on a list that documents their contributions and we could put that up online with a visual documentation from a camera. That would certainly be efficient and economical.
But a portrait, hand painted with brushes and colors mixed in the oil of flax seed, as portraits were centuries ago, and the thoughtful ritual of one’s peers unveiling that portrait, speaks of the unbroken connection that exists between people of outstanding ability and character from the past, with those of a similar kind in the present and those yet to come in the future.
That gives us a sense of timelessness I think, a kind of reassurance that something, our standards maybe, is not altered by the passing of time.
—Richard Halstead, from November 11, 2012 Speech at the Saddle and Sirloin Club