Culture

National Gallery Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama Are Going On Tour

National Gallery Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama Are Going On Tour

A tour worth seeing!

The paintings of Forever President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama, are going on tour, The Washington Post reports. 

The famed portraits, painted by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, have attracted millions from all over the world to the National Portrait Gallery where they’re housed, since their unveiling in early 2018. Wiley and Sherald are the first African American artists to ever be selected to commission portraits of a presidential couple. This week, the gallery announced that the paintings will be going on a multi city tour. 

The tour will kick off at the Art Institute of Chicago from June 18th - August 15, 2021. The portraits will then continue on to the Brooklyn Museum (Aug. 27-Oct. 24, 2021), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Nov. 5 - Jan. 2, 2022), the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (Jan. 14 - March 13, 2022) and conclude at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (March 25-May 30, 2022). 

The announcement comes on the heels of “The Obama Portraits,” an illustrated book published by the Smithsonian Institution in partnership with the Princeton University Press, celebrating the iconic portraits, which have left people young and old awestruck. 

Director of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), Kim Sajet, spoke to the press about the tour saying, “We’re a history museum and an art museum, and they are really great representations of both. This tour is an opportunity for audiences in different parts of the country to witness how Portraiture can engage people. You can use these portraits as a portal to all sorts of conversations.” 

Sajet said she understands that the tour may be a bit of a bummer for visitors hoping to come to D.C. just to see the paintings. But added that while she understands “people book their trips to Washington to come and see the portraits,” she promises, “there will be a big party when they get back.”

Be sure to clear your schedule when the tour comes to your city!

Photo Courtesy of Mark Wilson/Getty Images