National Portrait Gallery unveils Obama portraits

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled portraits of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, both painted by African-American artists who were personally chosen by the Obamas.

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Former President Barack Obama, left, speaks at the unveiling ceremony for the Obama's official portraits at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


The portraits were unveiled to the public Monday at the gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian group of museums. The gallery has a complete collection of presidential portraits. A second and different set of portraits of the former first couple will eventually hang in the White House.

Barack Obama's portrait was painted by Kehinde Wiley — an artist best known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African-Americans. For Michelle Obama's portrait, the gallery commissioned Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, first-prize winner of the Portrait Gallery's 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

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Former President Barack Obama, right, and Artist Kehinde Wiley, left, unveil Obama's official portrait at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Former first lady Michelle Obama and Artist Amy Sherald, right, unveil Michelle Obama's official portrait at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


The portraits will be officially installed and available for public viewing starting on Feb. 13.