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

Media only: 

Media only
Concetta Duncan 
(202) 633-9989

Marielba Alvarez
(202) 633-2585

Linda St. Thomas
(202) 633-5188



Portrait unveiling for President and Mrs. Barack Obama at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery


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


Kogod Courtyard 
National Portrait Gallery 
F Street N.W. between 7th and 9th streets (Use F Street entrance)


President Barack Obama 
Mrs. Michelle Obama 
Dr. David Skorton, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution   
Kim Sajet, director, National Portrait Gallery 
Amy Sherald, artist 
Kehinde Wiley, artist 


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


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. 

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