Artists Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley Unveil the Obamas National Portraits

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama commissioned artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald for the official Smithsonian presidential portraits held at the National Portrait Gallery. The collection was established by Congress in 1962 and housed at the museum starting in 1962. Commissioned portraits began with President George H.W. Bush and continues today.

At the unveiling Sherald spoke to Michelle Obama being her 'authentic self' being able to 'see ourselves" in her.  Wiley spoke of selecting subjects who had a certain 'j'ne se quoi" often seen in the street. Wiley who shares Obama's story of growing up without his African father, tearfully thank his mother for purchasing art supplies acknowledging her dedication to his art.

Resources: MSN & Smithsonian
    

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