The Obama Portraits
On Feb. 11, Princeton University Press will publish The Obama Portraits, an illustrated ode to the paintings of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as the work that went into them. A collaboration between National Portrait Gallery curators Taína Caragol and Dorothy Moss; art-history professor Richard J. Powell; and NPG director Kim Sajet, the book features several never-before-seen photos. EW can unveil a few of them here, exclusively.
Artist at work
Artist Kehinde Wiley works on the portrait of President Obama, late 2017.
President Obama and artist Kehinde Wiley communicate during a sitting for the president’s portrait, summer 2017.
Strike a pose
First Lady Michelle Obama poses for her portrait in a garden, in Maryland, on Oct. 2, 2017.
Michelle Obama and Amy Sherald during a sitting for the former first lady’s portrait, Oct. 2, 2017
Amy Sherald, set up in her Baltimore studio, mixes paint for her portrait of Mrs. Obama, late 2017.
Artist and subject
President Obama and Kehinde Wiley pose for a photograph during a sitting for the president’s portrait, summer 2017.
Art of the portrait
Amy Sherald works on the gray skin tones, which for her connect to the history of photography and serve to elevate African Americans through portraiture, late 2017.
Select images from THE OBAMA PORTRAITS by Taína Caragol, Dorothy Moss, Richard Powell, and Kim Sajet. Copyright (c) 2020 by Smithsonian Institution. Published by Princeton University Press. Reprinted with permission.