The Obama Portraits by Richard J. Powell – VIRTUAL
From the moment of their unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in early 2018, the portraits of Barack & Michelle Obama have become two of the most beloved artworks of our time. Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of the former first lady have inspired unprecedented responses from the public, and attendance at the museum has more than doubled as visitors travel from near and far to view these larger-than-life paintings. After witnessing a woman drop to her knees in prayer before the portrait of Barack Obama, one guard said, “No other painting gets the same kind of reactions. Ever.” The Obama Portraits is the first book about the making, meaning, and significance of these remarkable artworks. Richly illustrated with images of the portraits, exclusive pictures of the Obamas with the artists during their sittings, and photos of the historic unveiling ceremony by former White House photographer Pete Souza, this book offers insight into what these paintings can tell us about the history of portraiture and American culture. The volume also features a transcript of the unveiling ceremony, which includes moving remarks by the Obamas and the artists. A reversible dust jacket allows readers to choose which portrait to display on the front cover. An inspiring history of the creation and impact of the Obama portraits, this fascinating book speaks to the power of art―especially portraiture―to bring people together and promote cultural change.
Moderated by Kristi McMillan, director of learning & engagement.
Meeting each second Tuesday at 12pm, this monthly discussion is a place to exchange ideas about readings that relate to artworks and the art world, and to learn from and about each other. Pick up some tasty local fare at the Malaprop’s Café to make the most of your midday break! Books are available at Malaprop’s for a 10% discount. To add your name to our Discussion Bound mailing list, email Kristi McMillan, director of learning & engagement, or call 828.253.3227 x122.
Generous support for this program is provided by Art Bridges.