The Obamas’ Official White House Portraits Gets Unveiled Next Week

President Joe Biden will be hosting former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama on Sept. 7

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Photo courtesy of vargas2040.

It has been a White House tradition that the current president hosts his predecessor at the White House to unveil their official portraits, regardless of political affiliation. That tradition was broken when former President Trump did not host former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama at the White during his presidency. However, President Joe Biden is reigniting the tradition. On Sept. 7, he and First Lady Jill Biden are set to host America’s first Black president of America and first Black first lady for the official addition of their portraits to the White House collection.

Portraits of former President Barack and former First Lady Michelle Obama painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, that is in the Smithsonian Collection. The portraits to be unveiled on Sept. 7 will be separate from these portraits and are specifically comissioned for the White House collection. Photo coutesy of the National Portrait Gallery.

Back in 2012, the Obamas hosted former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush to unveil their official portraits. Meanwhile in 2004, Bush similarly hosted his predecessors former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton. The tradition was to extend a friendly gesture to the recent former president and first lady regardless of political affiliation. However, there was an odd lull when Donald Trump did not host Obama. Bloomberg went as far as calling it a “snub.” The Associated Press reported that requests for comment from two Trump spokespersons about the lack of a ceremony for Obama and whether or not artists are now painting portraits of Trump and his ex-wife Melania Trump did not receive a response.

New paintings of former presidents and first ladies are paid for by the White House Historical Association. They told the Associated Press that before the outgoing U.S. head of the state leaves office, they recommend the artist or artists who will paint their portraits and also provide instructions on how they want to be depicted.

Facebook Comments