Yesterday in WASHINGTON, DC, the official portraits of President and First Lady BARACK ad MICHELLE OBAMA were unveiled at the NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY!!!
The presidential portraits are entitled BARACK OBAMA and MICHELLE LaVAUGHN ROBINSON OBAMA, and; were commissioned by POTUS and FLOTUS OBAMA to Artists KEHINDE WILEY and AMY SHERALD.
Along with being the first BLACK POTUS and FLOTUS to occupy the residence and offices at 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, Mr. and Mrs. Obama commissioned Artists Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley to be the first BLACK ARTISTS to have their presidential portraiture work to permanently hang in the UNITED STATES NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY.
The NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY is a part of the museum collective that comprises the SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.
President and First Lady BARACK And MICHELLE OBAMA with KEHINDE WILEY (far left) and AMY SHERALD (far righ0
Today, @KehindeWiley and @ASherald became the first black artists to create official presidential portraits for the Smithsonian. To call this experience humbling would be an understatement. Thanks to Kehinde and Amy, generations of Americans — and young people from all around the world — will visit the National Portrait Gallery and see this country through a new lens. They’ll walk out of that museum with a better sense of the America we all love. Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Inclusive and optimistic. And I hope they’ll walk out more empowered to go and change their worlds.
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.