Media Advisory: Unveiling of President and Mrs. Obama’s Portraits

WHAT: Portrait unveiling for President and Mrs. Barack Obama at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery 
WHEN: Monday, Feb. 12
                 8 a.m.: Press arrives. Valid press credentials and ID are required. Please allow time  for security check.
                  8 a.m.–9 a.m.: Continental breakfast
                  9:30 a.m. sharp doors will close. Re-entry will not be permitted.
                  10 a.m.: Program begins
WHERE: Kogod Courtyard
                   National Portrait Gallery
                   F Street N.W. between 7th and 9th streets (Use F Street entrance)
WHO:     President Barack Obama 
                 Mrs. Michelle Obama 
                 Dr. David Skorton, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution 
                 Kim Sajet, director, National Portrait Gallery 
                Amy Sherald, artist 
                Kehinde Wiley, artist 
The two portraits were commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Artist Kehinde Wiley—best known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans—was selected to create President Obama’s portrait. Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, first-prize winner of the Portrait Gallery’s 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, was selected to paint Mrs. Obama. 
There will be additional photo opportunities the following day when the portraits are in place. Wiley’s painting will be permanently installed in the Portrait Gallery’s acclaimed “America’s Presidents” exhibition. Sherald’s painting will be on view in the museum’s “Recent Acquisitions” corridor through early November 2018. Public hours are 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. daily. 
NOTE: Please note this is an invitation-only event open to the media and space is limited. All RSVPs are subject to confirmation from the National Portrait Gallery. To attend: ALL MEDIA need to RSVP by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, for consideration and clearance. Further guidelines will be sent upon RSVP confirmation. RSVP via email to

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the nation's story.            

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G streets N.W., Washington, D.C. It is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Visitors enter and exit through the G Street entrance. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at; Twitter and YouTube.

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