National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Today we unveiled the portraits of President @barackobama and Mrs. @michelleobama at our @smithsoniannpg. The museum collects multiple images of the presidents and first ladies but also commissions a set of portraits at the end of each presidency.
Kehinde Wiley, a New York-based artist, references President @barackobama’s life in the decorative background with chrysanthemums (the official flower of Chicago), jasmine (symbolic of Hawaii where the President spent most of his childhood) and African blue lilies (alluding to the President’s late Kenyan father). @kehindewiley is well known for creating vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans in poses resembling famous figures in the history of Western art.
Amy Sherald, chosen to paint Mrs. @michelleobama, is a Baltimore-based artist known for her stylized, archetypal portrayals of African Americans. In this oil-on-linen painting, @asherald depicts the former First Lady as both confident and approachable in a dress by Michelle Smith’s label Milly.
Both portraits will be on view starting Feb. 13—his permanently in the “America’s Presidents” exhibition and hers in the museum’s “Recent Acquisitions” corridor through early November 2018. #myNPG #ObamaPortraits