After pandemic- and Trump-related delays, the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama are finally scheduled to be unveiled by President Biden at the White House.
The portraits of the 44th president and the former first lady will be seen publicly for the first time on Sep. 7, an Obama spokesperson said Thursday.
The tradition of first-term presidents unveiling an official portrait of their immediate predecessors has usually taken place in the White House’s East Room. But during his term, former President Trump declined to host Obama for such a ceremony. Obama was also opposed to participating in the tradition with Trump, according to news reports.
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last year that Biden expected to extend the traditional acknowledgement to Trump.
“I have not been given any indication that we would break with tradition in that regard,” Psaki said after Biden’s presidential inauguration.
The works of art of the Obamas that are poised to be unveiled at the White House are different from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery likenesses that were revealed to much fanfare in 2018.
Those portraits, by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, have since traveled the country as part of a nationwide exhibition.
The artists behind the Obamas’ official White House portraits are expected to be revealed at the September ceremony.
Source: The Hill