I’m happy to report that Angelino’s will not have to travel to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to see the museums official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama. As part of the five-city The Obama Portraits Tour, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will exhibit the iconic portraits from November 7, 2021 to January 2, 2022.
The portraits not only feature history-making subjects but they were made by groundbreaking artists. Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President, and Amy Sherald’s portrait of the former First Lady are the first works by African Americans to be commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to create official portraits of a president or first lady.
Kehinde Willey placed the President against a wall of green leaves punctuated by flowers blooming within the greenery, African lilies native to Kenya, chrysanthemum the official flower of Chicago, jasmine native to his birthplace of Hawaii, representing Obama’s road to becoming the forty-fourth president of the United States.
Sherald depicts the former first lady in an abstract gown against a simple blue background, gazing directly at the viewer, giving the portrait a personal and intimate feeling.
In addition to the artworks themselves, the LACMA presentation of The Obama Portraits Tour will feature teacher workshops, curatorial tours, and a richly illustrated book.
To complement the presentation of The Obama Portraits LACMA will present Black American Portraits in an adjacent gallery.