The portraits of President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are hitting the road on a five-stop tour next year.
The acclaimed paintings by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have been a popular destination for visitors at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington since they were unveiled in 2018.
Now, the museum announced, the paintings may just be coming to you.
"The portraits are going to be shared with people who did not have the opportunity to see them," Sherald told the New York Times. So, now more people will be able to have the opportunity to be awestruck, like the 2-year-old girl who went viral in 2018 for her reaction to the first lady's portrait.
Feeling all the feels. 😭 When I look at this picture I think back to my first field trip in elementary school to a museum. I had only seen paintings in encyclopedias up to that point in my life. There was a show up of work by painter @thebobartlett whose work still inspires me to this day. There was a painting of a black man standing in front of a house. I don't remember a lot about my childhood, but I do have a few emotional memories etched into my mind forever and seeing that painting of a man that looked like he could be my father stopped me dead in my tracks. This was my first time seeing real paintings that weren't in a book and also weren't painted in another century. I didn't realize that none of them had me in them until I saw that painting of Bo's. I knew I wanted to be an artist already, but seeing that painting made me realize that I could. What dreams may come? #representationmatters
A post shared by A M Y S H E R A L D (@asherald) on Mar 2, 2018 at 8:01am PST
The tour will start at the Art Institute of Chicago in June 2021 and continue through May 2022.
Stops along the way will include the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Each location will have the paintings for about two months. Along with the artwork, "The Obama Portraits" will feature audio-visual elements, portrait gallery-led teacher workshops, curatorial presentations and an illustrated book, according to the Smithsonian.
"Since the unveiling of these two portraits of the Obamas, the Portrait Gallery has experienced a record number of visitors, not only to view these works in person but to be part of the communal experience of a particular moment in time," Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a statement to the New York Times.
"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," Sajet added.