In a live taping of the unveiling ceremony, it was revealed that the masterpieces were created by artists Sharon Sprung and Robert McCurdy. In addition to painting the Obamas, McCurdy has also painted images of Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison, and Muhammad Ali.
During the special event, Barack took time to thank McCurdy and Sprung. He also gave heartfelt sentiments about his beautiful wife. “I want to thank Sharon Sprung for capturing everything I love about Michelle, her grace, her intelligence, and the fact that she’s fine,” Barack expressed. “Her portrait is stunning.”
He hilariously added, “And I want to thank Robert McCurdy for taking on a much more difficult subject and doing a great job with mine.”
The former Potus made remarks in regard to McCurdy’s refusal to hide his gray hairs or make his ears smaller. The audience died of laughter when Obama mentioned that McCurdy also talked him out of wearing a tan suit in his portrait. Obama was criticized in 2014 for wearing a tan suit to a news conference.
According to The Root, the White House Historical Association has provided the official portraits of former Presidents and First Ladies since 1965. The Obamas’ appearance at the White House for the unveiling of portraits is a first since 2012 when former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush came back to view their official portraits.
The 44th POTUS and former First Lady’s masterpieces are placed on the White House walls next to previous first couples, including George and Martha Washington. Citizens will be able to see the art pieces when visiting the executive mansion.
Check out the unveiling of the Obamas’ portraits below.