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The Obama Portraits Tour
June 18 - August 14
From the moment of their unveiling at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama became iconic. The artists behind the portraits, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, have throughout their careers addressed the lack of Black representation in Western art history, using portraiture to explore complex issues of identity. Wiley and Sherald are the first African Americans to be commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to create official portraits of a president or first lady.
This nationwide tour is expected to reach millions who might not otherwise have an opportunity to view these remarkable paintings. The de Young is thrilled to be part of this special presentation highlighting the power of portraiture and its potential to engage communities.