Barack & Michelle Obama’s Portrait Makes History
Today, the official portraits for former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were unveiled.
Barack’s portrait was painted by Artist Kehinde Wiley. Michelle’s portrait was painted by Artist Amy Sherald. They’re the first Black artists EVER commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint the official White House portraits of the President + First Lady.
Michelle reflected on the moment on social media.
As a young girl, even in my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined this moment. Nobody in my family has ever had a portrait – there are no portraits of the Robinsons or the Shields from the South Side of Chicago. This is all a little bit overwhelming, especially when I think about all of the young people who will visit the National Portrait Gallery and see this, including so many young girls and young girls of color who don’t often see their images displayed in beautiful and iconic ways. I am so proud to help make that kind of history. But the fact is that none of this would be possible without the extraordinary artist and woman behind this portrait, @asherald. Thank you, Amy – it was a joy to work with you and get to know you.
The paintings were revealed at the gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian group of museums.
The gallery has a complete collection of presidential portraits.