Several news outlets are reporting that the National Portrait Gallery is unveilling portraits on February 12, 2018 of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.
One of the Barack Obama’s portrait was painted by Kehinde Wiley — an artist best known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African-Americans. For Michelle Obama’s portrait, she is honored in a portrait by Amy Sherald who is a Baltimore-based artist and first-prize winner of the Portrait Gallery’s 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.
As per the Chicago Sun Times, “Wiley and Sherald are the first African-Americans to be commissioned by the gallery to paint official portraits.”“The gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institution, has the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside of the White House.”
“Obama’s portrait will be installed in the “America’s Presidents” gallery and Mrs. Obama’s picture will be on display in another part of the museum.”
“Both Obama and Mrs. Obama will attend the event, to be livestreamed by the portrait gallery starting at 9 a.m. Chicago time.”
“The National Gallery began commissioning presidential portraits in 1994, starting with President George H.W. Bush. The initial first lady commission was in 2006 with Hillary Clinton.”
Some of Kehinde Wiley’s past portraits: