This summer, the five museums are welcoming prominent Black artists into their space. Kehinde Wiley’s painting of Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s painting of Michelle Obama will be on display at five major museums for the Obama Portraits Tour. The first stop is the Art Institute of Chicago where the paintings will be there for your viewing pleasure until August 15. The Obama portraits will then visit museums in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston until May 2022. Along with the portraits, educational workshops, audio-visual elements and curated presentations will also be included in the experience.
Sherald and Wiley were summoned by the National Portrait Gallery and their paintings were unveiled in 2018.
Here’s when you can visit to see these breathtaking portraits in person:
- The Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago—June 18, 2021–Aug. 15, 2021
- Brooklyn Museum; Brooklyn, New York—Aug. 27, 2021–Oct. 24, 2021
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles—Nov. 7, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022
- High Museum of Art; Atlanta—Jan. 14, 2022–March 13, 2022
- The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Houston—March 27, 2022–May 30, 2022
The Art Institute of Chicago is also opening their doors to another Black artist, Bisa Butler for her “Bisa Butler: Portraits” showing. From now until September 6, Butler’s collection of portrait quilts will be displayed in her first-ever solo museum exhibit. Her exhibit will include 20 portrait quilts that “capture personal and historical narratives of Black life.”
Welcoming Sherald, Wiley and Butler’s work into this historically white-washed space is an effort to stop the exclusion of Black artists by the Art Institute of Chicago’s president James Rondeau.
“As we reflect on our past, we are accountable for our museum’s legacy of white privilege and exclusion, not only in the representation of artists of color in our collection but also of those in our community who have historically felt unwelcome in our spaces,” Rondeau said in a statement last year. “That legacy is antithetical to the museum we aspire to be. We have been investing resources, and will extend those commitments, to create meaningful change.