Popular Obama portraits departing DC in 2021 for 5 city tour

TOPSHOT - Former US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stand beside their portraits after their unveiling at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, February 12, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) / RESTRICTED T

One of the National Portrait Gallery’s top attractions is temporarily leaving the District – in order to give other cities an opportunity to feature two paintings that have brought in millions of visitors.

The museum’s iconic portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama will embark on a five-city tour that will include Chicago, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Houston.

The tour featuring Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama will run from June 2021 through May 2022.

According to the Washington Post, the portraits generated a record-breaking 2.3 million visitors to the Old Patent Office Building in 2018, and approximately 1 million in 2017.

Officials say the display will include an audio-visual element, portrait-gallery teacher-led workshops, curatorial presentations, and an illustrated book.

Tour schedule and locations:

  • Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago—June 18, 2021–Aug. 15, 2021
  • Brooklyn Museum; Brooklyn, New York—Aug. 27, 2021–Oct. 24, 2021
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles—Nov. 5, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022
  • High Museum of Art;  Atlanta—Jan. 14, 2022–March 13, 2022
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Houston—March 25, 2022–May 30, 2022