Barack and Michelle Obama Open Presidential Portraits at the White House | World

Barack Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, returned to the White House on Wednesday (7) to inaugurate their official portraits, welcomed by fellow Democrat Joe Biden more than five years after the former president’s departure from the United States. cabinet.

Large, formal portraits of US presidents and first ladies adorn walls, hallways and rooms throughout the White House.

Typically, a former president returns for the inauguration during his successor’s term, but there was no ceremony for the Obamas while Republican Donald Trump was in office.

Previous portraits of the Obamas that opened in 2018 and exhibited at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery have become a major tourist attraction.

Barack Obama next to Michelle’s painting on September 7, 2022 — Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

The Obamas selected black artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald to paint them, the first commissions by black artists for presidential portraits at the museum.

Trump, before winning the election in 2016 and succeeding Obama in 2017, was a longtime supporter of the “birther” movement that falsely suggested that Obama was not born in the United States and therefore should not be president.

White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin said there is no prescribed process for presidential portraits.

“It is up to the current president of the White House and the former president who appears in the portrait to determine the right time, but there is no set timeline,” he said.

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