Portraits of former First Lady Michelle Obama, former president coming to Art Institute this summer

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, May 20, 2021
The Obama portraits are coming to Art Institute of Chicago
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The Obama portraits are coming to Chicago this summer.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are coming to Chicago.

They will be displayed at the Art Institute on June 18 to kick off a five-city tour, organized by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The portraits will be in Chicago for about two months, until Aug. 15, before heading to other cities.

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Michelle Obama told the Art Institute she frequently went to the museum when she was growing up on the South Side, and it was the site of hers and the former president's first date.

Kehinde Wiley painted President Obama's portrait, and Amy Sherald painted Michelle Obama's. The artists are the first African Americans to be commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to create official portraits of a president or first lady, the Art Institute said.

Wiley placed a seated President Obama against a backdrop of flowers with special significance, including chrysanthemums, the official flower of Chicago. Sherald captured the former first lady against light-blue ground, sitting and gazing directly at the viewer.