Barack Obama and Michelle Obama returned to the White House on Wednesday for the unveiling of their official portraits.
Robert McCurdy painted the portrait of the former president and Sharon Sprung of the former first lady.
At a ceremony in the East Room, covered by major cable news networks, President Joe Biden said that Obama will be “one of the most consequential presidents in history.”
The unveiling also marked the first time that the Obamas together returned to the White House since 2017. Barack Obama returned in March for a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.
The portraits are different from those unveiled in 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery. Those works, from Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, are currently on a national tour in major cities and will return to the Smithsonian gallery’s permanent collection this fall.
The unveiling on Wednesday was the first since 2012, when the Obamas hosted George W. Bush and Laura Bush. Notably, Donald Trump did not host the Obamas during his presidency, breaking with tradition.
The portraits are funded by the White House Historical Association, which oversees the process with input from the subjects. They will hang in the White House as part of the collection.
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