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The Obamas Choose Their Official Portraitists


The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announced that former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have selected the artists who will paint their portraits for its Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. The paintings will be unveiled at the museum in early 2018.

Kehinde Wiley, Willem van Heythuysen, 2005. (Photo: Catherine Wetzel, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

The President chose Kehinde Wiley to paint his portrait and the First Lady selected Amy Sherald. Both artists are successful African American painters known for their vibrant life-sized portraits.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former President and First Lady,” said the director of the National Portrait Gallery.




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