(L) “Barack Obama” by Kehinde Wiley, oil on canvas, 2019. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; (R) “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama” by Amy Sherald, oil on linen, 2018. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
The famous portraits of President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are coming to the Brooklyn Museum in Prospect Heights this month. At the beginning of 2020, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announced a five-city tour for the two popular paintings, which kicked off in June in the Obamas’ hometown of Chicago. Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald are the first African American artists selected by the Portrait Gallery for the museum’s official portraits of a president or first lady.