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National Portrait Gallery’s Obama Paintings to Tour Five Cities


The official portraits of former President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery are set to go on a tour of five cities starting in June 2021.

The national tour that will last until May 2022 includes Chicago, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston.

Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of the ex-president and Amy Sherald’s portrait of the former First Lady have been drawing wide attention from the public since their debut in 2018.

With the five-city tour, the museum aims at helping the two artworks reach millions of Americans who don’t have the chance to see them.

The Obama portraits will also feature audio-visual elements, workshops, curatorial presentations, and a richly illustrated book (National Portrait Gallery and Princeton University Press), according to the museum’s statement which added that this special presentation would “enhance the conversations surrounding the power of portraiture and its potential to engage communities.”

The portraits will be displayed at the following locations:

  • Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago—June 18, 2021–Aug. 15, 2021
  • Brooklyn Museum; Brooklyn, New York—Aug. 27, 2021–Oct. 24, 2021
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles—Nov. 5, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022
  • High Museum of Art; Atlanta—Jan. 14, 2022–March 13, 2022
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Houston—March 25, 2022–May 30, 2022

The museums included in the tour are expected to charge visitors for entrance.

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