Here’s Your Chance To See The Obama Portraits For Yourselves
The portraits of the Obamas were the first to be completed by Black artists.
January 23, 2020 at 11:39 pm
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has announced a five-city tour of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama's portraits that will launch during the summer of 2021.
The tour will begin in Chicago, the president and first lady's hometown, on June 18, 2021, and will continue across the country through May 30, 2022.
"We view the country as our community,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, in a statement. “Since the unveiling of these two portraits of the Obamas, the Portrait Gallery has experienced a record number of visitors, not only to view these works in person, but to be part of the communal experience of a particular moment in time. This tour is an opportunity for audiences in different parts of the country to witness how portraiture can engage people in the beauty of dialogue and shared experience.”
The paintings were commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and were revealed in a special unveiling ceremony February 12, 2018, in the presence of Barack and Michelle Obama and the two artists, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively. Wiley and Sherald were the first Black artists to be chosen to take on the task of creating the National Portrait Gallery’s official portraits of a president and first lady.
“Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald became the first black artists to create official presidential portraits for the Smithsonian," President Obama said at the unveiling of the portraits, according to IJR. "To call this experience humbling would be an understatement.”
Stops on the portrait tour include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Spread the word of the upcoming tour by using the hashtag #ObamaPortraitsTour.