For the unveiling of their official portraits, former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama visited the White House on Wednesday.
Barack and Michelle were welcomed back to the White House for the first time together since leaving in 2017, and everyone had the chance to see their official portrait, which will be on display in the building for years to come.
CNN reports that since the bipartisan unveiling event for former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush that Obama hosted in 2012, the Obamas’ photos are the first to be added to the White House collection.
Robert McCurdy painted Barack’s portrait, while Sharon Sprung did Michelle’s portrait.
President Biden discussed the Obamas’ influence during the unveiling and said,
“You both generated hope for millions of people who were left behind for so long – and it matters. You both did it with such grace and such class. You dreamed big and secured lasting wins for the American people, helping lift their burden with a blessing of hope. It’s so underestimated … just having hope. This is the gift of the Obama presidency to the country and to history.”
According to CNN, Robert McCurdy admitted that it took him at least a year to finish the picture of Barack Obama since he concentrated on drawing inspiration from a photo of the former president. The former First Lady of the United States is depicted by Sharon Sprung as sitting on a red couch in the Red Room of the White House while sporting a blue dress. She revealed that the portrait was made out of images that were taken at various points on the State Floor of the White House.