Obamas’ Official Portraits Revealed At National Portrait Gallery
Black excellence at its finest.
The Smithsonian held a special ceremony on Monday, February 12th to unveil the official portraits of former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. The portraits will be placed in the National Portrait Gallery alongside the rest of America’s former First Families.
Ordinarily, the event would pass unnoticed in the worlds of politics and art. However, this occasion remains unique as a testament to the leadership of one of America’s most beloved families. The present debut is strikingly different in the fact that it is the first time two African American artists depict the U.S’s first black presidential couple.
The official portraits. Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley. Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald. pic.twitter.com/xZzBYTJhKn
— Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) February 12, 2018
Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald were personally asked by the Obamas to capture their images. Wiley’s piece makes a significant departure from serious presidential likenesses in the past and depicts Barack in front of a bed of colorful flowers and shrubs paying homage to the former President’s history and background. On the other hand, Sherald’s painting of Michelle Obama shows her in a flowing, patterned dress with a halter neckline and an expression that is thoughtful with her chin resting on her hand.
You can check out the entire ceremony below.