Our forever President Barack Obama and forever First Lady Michelle Obama are heading back home to Chi-town and bringing back all the feels of where their love first started. According to PEOPLE, their official portraits – painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald – will be going on a nationwide five-city tour starting June 18th at The Art Institute in Chicago.
“It was particularly exciting that Chicago was chosen to be the very first stop and it’s something that we really want to honor because the Obamas and Chicago are inextricably linked,” Art Institute Director of Interpretation Emily Fry told PEOPLE. “This is the location that has shaped the arc of their professional lives, and it’s where they started their family. It’s a homecoming.”
Fry also noted that the Art Institute is “the site where they started their relationship,” as the museum is where the Obamas had their first date. This five-city tour will also mark the first time that the portraits are leaving Washington, D.C., and the first time that both Obamas’ portraits will be displayed in the same exhibit together. They were originally in different areas of the portrait gallery.
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The portraits will debut in Chicago between June 18 and August 15, but will then move onto the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Atlanta’s High Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The tour is slated to complete in May 2022.
As said in a statement to The New York Times, National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Saje said of the tour: “This tour is an opportunity for audiences in different parts of the country to witness how portraiture can engage people in the beauty of dialogue and shared experience.”
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