The celebrated portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, brought more than a million visitors to the National Portrait Gallery during their first year in Washington, D.C. And now millions more can see them when they set out to tour America.
Between June 2021 and May 2022, the Obama portraits will reportedly travel to five U.S. museums. The tour will kick off with a stop at the Art Institute of Chicago, and from there they will visit the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in Texas.
“Since the unveiling of these two portraits of the Obamas, the Portrait Gallery has experienced a record number of visitors, not only to view these works in person, but to be part of the communal experience of a particular moment in time,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a statement. “This tour is an opportunity for audiences in different parts of the country to witness how portraiture can engage people in the beauty of dialogue and shared experience.”
The Obama portraits have been considered some of the defining artworks of the 2010s, with Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama appearing on a recent ARTnews list of the most important artistic offerings of the decade. And both were considered a breakthrough from the moment they were known, as Wiley and Sherald were the first African-American artists to be commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paints portraits of a president. In their first year on view, the portraits brought in enough people that the National Portrait Gallery’s attendance figures roughly doubled, to 2.3 million.
more recommended stories
Algorithms Can’t Automate Beauty
Algorithms Can’t Automate Beauty You feel the.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Controversy, Explained: Why the Ouster of Director Nathalie Bondil Started a Firestorm
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Controversy,.
ARTnews in Brief: 2021 Edition of FOG Design+Art Fair Postponed—and More from September 21, 2020
ARTnews in Brief: 2021 Edition of.
Bay Area Galleries Band Together to Launch Communal Online Platform
Bay Area Galleries Band Together to.
Artists Release Open Letter to Whitney Asking for Reform, LACMA Reveals Plans for its New Building and More: Morning Links from September 18, 2020
Artists Release Open Letter to Whitney.
São Paulo’s Cutting-Edge Galeria Jaqueline Martins Expands to Brussels
São Paulo’s Cutting-Edge Galeria Jaqueline Martins.
Smithsonian American Art Museum Acquires Its First Sound Installation
Smithsonian American Art Museum Acquires Its.
‘Tenet’ and the Art Market: Why Christopher Nolan’s Latest Film Deals in Clichés About Blue-Chip Art
‘Tenet’ and the Art Market: Why.
Ailing Museums Receive $24 Million in Emergency Grants from Mellon Foundation
Ailing Museums Receive $24 Million in.
LACMA Unveils New Interior Views of Controversial Zumthor Building
LACMA Unveils New Interior Views of.