Tour of Michelle and Barack Obama portraits extended to two more cities


The gallery announced on Wednesday that two more stops have been added to the popular tour. The De Young Museum in San Francisco (June 18th to August 14th) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (September 3rd to October 30th).

The presentation will be made while the portrait is on display until March 20th at the High Museum in Atlanta, the hometown of Sheald. This is the third stop of the journey depicted, starting last summer in Obama’s hometown of Chicago. Excited emotions with a lot of people. The tour was also held in Wiley’s hometowns of Brooklyn and Los Angeles. After Atlanta, the portrait will move to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (April 3 to May 30).

Kim Sadget, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said he had decided to extend the tour in line with the Smithsonian’s national vision.

“I really want to get out of the bubble in DC, Maryland, Virginia and let people realize that we are really trying to serve as many people as possible across the country,” she said. Told. “We know that these communities really intend to celebrate them.”

Angelica Luma saw a portrait of Atlanta with her 7-year-old son and two friends. “Kelson Jr. is valuable to see people who look like him drawn in a dignified way in places like the Higher Museum by a black artist who looks like him.” Luma writes by email. Her experience with her “examines his value, his notion of potential, and his position in the world as a young black man,” she added.

Thomas Campbell, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, including the De Young Museum, said the Smithsonian Institution was the first to ask a black artist to portrait the president and the first lady.

Wiley and Cherald said: “We work within the genre of Western portraiture, actively expanding and criticizing the artistic practices that traditionally defined the expression of power. The Bay Area audience creates these powerful and iconic paintings. I am happy to be able to experience it first hand. “

Matthew Teitelbaum, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is the last stop in Boston, where portraits will be exhibited with a collection that reflects the city’s formal portrait history, dating back to the founding of the country.

“Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald are visionary artists whose paintings pay homage to and rethink the centuries-old tradition of American portraiture,” he said. “I am honored to be able to host a portrait of Obama at MFA.”

Sheald is known for his grayscale black portraits to overturn the concept of “color as a race”. Her Michelle Obama portrait shows her ex-First Lady in a gown reminiscent of the Quilts of Gee’s Bend. Wiley uses Old Master’s aesthetics to elevate black figures. In the portrait of former President Obama, he is surrounded by bright leaves and flowers that represent Chicago, the birthplace of Hawaii and the roots of Kenya.

Obama’s portrait, released in February 2018, captivated a record crowd (National Portrait Gallery reported 2.3 million visitors in 2018, 1 million more than 2017) and visitors. I shed the story of.

Gallery director Saddet points out the role of museums in connecting people.

“As long as you can see those portraits in effect, it doesn’t replace the fact that you see them directly, not just with others,” she said. “There is a sense of this community, which I really removed from all of this.”


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