11:52 AM PDT, June 27, 2021
The Obama portraits are now on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, where the former president and first lady had their first date.
The artwork, created by Brooklyn-based Kehinde Wiley and Baltimore-based Amy Sherald, were originally housed at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. In addition to garnering millions of visitors, these works were the first by Black artists to be admitted to the gallery.
Sherald and the former first lady held a virtual event hosted by the Institute as an introduction to the newly added art. During the conversation, Obama shared that her late father, Fraser Robinson, was also an artist.
“Not many people know that my father was a budding artist and he had an opportunity to take some courses at the Art Institute,” she said.
“Now, like a lot of Black men his age, he didn’t have the resources to invest and build a career in that area,” she continued. He had to put down his paints and his clay and support his family.”
The artwork will be traversing the US and visiting Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.