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Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama
Usage Conditions Apply
Amy Sherald, born 1973
Michelle Obama, born 17 Jan 1964
Oil on linen
Frame: 192.6 × 162.1 × 12.4 cm, 125lb. (75 13/16 × 63 13/16 × 4 7/8")
Stretcher: 183.2 × 152.7 × 7 cm (72 1/8 × 60 1/8 × 2 3/4")
Michelle Obama: Female
Michelle Obama: Law and Crime\Lawyer
Michelle Obama: Politics and Government\First Lady\First Lady of US
United States\Maryland\Baltimore Independent City\Baltimore
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg; Judith Kern and Kent Whealy; Tommie L. Pegues and Donald A. Capoccia; Clarence, DeLoise, and Brenda Gaines; Jonathan and Nancy Lee Kemper; The Stoneridge Fund of Amy and Marc Meadows; Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker; Catherine and Michael Podell; Mark and Cindy Aron; Lyndon J. Barrois and Janine Sherman Barrois; The Honorable John and Louise Bryson; Paul and Rose Carter; Bob and Jane Clark; Lisa R. Davis; Shirley Ross Davis and Family; Alan and Lois Fern; Conrad and Constance Hipkins; Sharon and John Hoffman; Audrey M. Irmas; John Legend and Chrissy Teigen; Eileen Harris Norton; Helen Hilton Raiser; Philip and Elizabeth Ryan; Roselyne Chroman Swig; Josef Vascovitz and Lisa Goodman; Eileen Baird; Dennis and Joyce Black Family Charitable Foundation; Shelley Brazier; Aryn Drake-Lee; Andy and Teri Goodman; Randi Charno Levine and Jeffrey E. Levine; Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation; Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago; Arthur Lewis and Hau Nguyen; Sara and John Schram; Alyssa Taubman and Robert Rothman
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© National Portrait Gallery
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Chicago, Illinois
Michelle Obama remembers growing up on the South Side of Chicago and thinking, “being smart is cooler than anything in the world.” After earning degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, she joined Sidley Austin LLP, where she met Barack Obama in 1989. Guided by the desire to improve her community, she left the firm in the mid-1990s to begin a career in public service. She directed community and external affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center prior to moving to Washington in 2009.
During her husband’s two presidential campaigns, Mrs. Obama delivered poignant speeches that centered on her family’s commitment to serving others and highlighted the importance of her role as a parent. As first lady, she focused on women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, children’s health, and military families.
Mrs. Obama selected Amy Sherald, winner of the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, to create her official portrait for the museum. The artist considers the former first lady to be someone “women can relate to—no matter what shape, size, race, or color. . . . We see our best selves in her.” Here, she portrays Mrs. Obama as both confident and approachable, in a dress by Michelle Smith’s label Milly.
Nacida en Chicago, Illinois
Michelle Obama recuerda que, de niña, en el South Side de Chicago, pensaba que ser estudiosa era “lo más cool del mundo”. Tras graduarse de la Universidad de Princeton y la Escuela de Derecho de Harvard, se unió a la firma Sidley Austin LLP, donde conoció a Barack Obama en 1989. Con el anhelo de mejorar su comunidad, renunció a la firma en los años noventa para hacer carrera en el servicio público. Antes de irse a Washington en 2009, fue directora de asuntos externos y comunitarios del Centro Médico de la Universidad de Chicago.
En ambas campañas presidenciales de su esposo, la Sra. Obama pronunció emotivos discursos que destacaban la dedicación de su familia a servir a la sociedad y la importancia de su rol de madre. Como primera dama, trabajó por los derechos de la mujer y la comunidad LGBTQ+, la salud infantil y las familias de los militares.
La Sra. Obama seleccionó a Amy Sherald, ganadora del Certamen de Retratos Outwin Boochever 2016, para crear su retrato oficial para el museo. Según la artista, la ex primera dama es alguien “con quien pueden identificarse las mujeres, sin importar su figura, talla, raza o color [...]. En ella vemos lo mejor de nosotras”. Aquí la presenta segura de sí misma y a la vez accesible, con un vestido de la línea Milly de Michelle Smith.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
20th Century Americans: 2000 to Present
On View
NPG, South Gallery 341