Since leaving the White House in 2017, polls displaying the Obamas’ popularity prove that America longs for simpler times. Given this recent news, the country is gripping to anything that reminds them of the beauty of the past, even if it’s just a painting.
Like the presidents and first ladies before them, Barack and Michelle Obama had themselves re-imaged through the scope of painted portraits at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG). Like most things associated with the former first lady, when the portrait created by Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald was revealed, it was met with intense excitement. Now, after nearly a month on display, the gallery had to move Mrs. Obama’s portrait to accommodate its high number of visitors, CNN reports.
“We’re always changing things up here,” read a tweet from NPG’s account. “Due to the high volume of visitors, we’ve relocated Michelle Obama’s portrait to the (third) floor… for a more spacious viewing experience.”
We’re always changing things up here 👀 Due to the high volume of visitors, we’ve relocated Michelle Obama’s portrait to the 3rd floor in our 20th-Century Americans galleries for a more spacious viewing experience. Reubicamos el retrato de Michelle Obama al tercer piso del museo pic.twitter.com/OnBgmf6bQq
— National Portrait Gallery (@smithsoniannpg) March 9, 2018
The decision to move the painting came after Feb. 2018 – the month the Obamas’ portraits opened to the public – became the gallery’s most visited month in three years. The Smithsonian Institution reported that almost 177,000 people stopped by NPG. This is an unprecedented moment that speaks not only to the popularity of the Obamas but the impact they have on American culture.