November 29, 2022
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Obamas unveil White House portraits after Trump snub

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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden has planned to host former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama next week for the unveiling of their official White House portraits.

The Sept. 7 ceremony, which the White House announced Wednesday, is typically an occasion for a president to honor his immediate predecessor. But Obama’s unveiling did not occur during Donald Trump’s presidency, given the animus between the two men.

The event was further delayed last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is due to be held indoors in the East Room of the White House. The White House did not name the artists who painted the portraits.

Obama hosted President George W. Bush for his portrait unveiling in May 2012, and Bush had former President Bill Clinton at the White House for his unveiling in June 2004.

These are the official White House portraits as commissioned by the White House Historical Association and are different from the popular portraits of the Obamas unveiled in 2018, pictured below. Those, painted by Kehinde Wiley (Barack Obama) and Amy Sherald (Michelle Obama), were commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Portraits of former presidents hang on the walls of ceremonial areas of the White House, including the East Room, State Dining Room and Cross Hall.

Obama was last at the White House in April, his first visit since Donald Trump’s inauguration, to celebrate twelve years of the Affordable Care Act.

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