Okay, technically the real 44th USA president and first lady aren't making an in-person appearance; instead the acclaimed "President Barack Obama" portrait by Kehinde Wiley and the "Michelle Obama" portrait by Amy Sherald will take up residence at the Houston museum March March 25-May 30, 2022.
The official portraits of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama will depart the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., for a five-city tour next summer.
The almost year-long tour will commence June 18, 2021 with a stop at the Art Institute of Chicago, before concluding on May 30, 2022 at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts.
Kehinde Wiley's portrait of Barack Obama and Amy Sherald's portrait of Michelle Obama were unveiled in February 2018. 2022), the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (Jan. - March), and Houston's Museum of Fine Arts (March-May).
Since their arrival in the Smithsonian two years ago, the portraits have been a popular attraction at the museum. Both Wiley and Sherald were the first artists of African American descent who were commissioned to create official portraits of a USA president and first lady.
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Besides just the artwork being on view to the public, the art exhibit will have audio-visual elements as well as teacher workshops, curatorial presentations, and a new illustrated book called The Obama Portraits, according to the museum's announcement. "We're still, especially in Chicago, very much in the present tense with President and Mrs. Obama".
Next year, in mid-May 2021, the Obama portraits will temporarily go off view from the NPG's gallery for tour preparation.
Kim Sajet, director of the Portrait Gallery, says that since the unveiling, the gallery has experienced a record number of visitors.
"This tour is an opportunity for audiences in different parts of the country to witness how portraiture can engage people in the beauty of dialogue and shared experiences". Each location will house the works for roughly two months.