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Virtual Member Lecture: The Obama Portraits

Member Exclusive


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  • Free, registration required

    This event will be recorded, and the recording will be available on the Art Institute's YouTube channel soon after the event.

Barack and Michelle Obama

(L) Kehinde Wiley. Barack Obama, 2018. Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © 2018 Kehinde Wiley. (R) Amy Sherald. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (detail), 2018. Oil on linen. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The National Portrait Gallery is grateful to the generous donors who made these commissions possible and proudly recognizes them at

Join Sam Ramos, educator and associate director, Innovation and Creativity, as he discusses the acclaimed Obama portraits. Featuring history-making subjects President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and created by groundbreaking artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively, these stunning portrayals are on view at the Art Institute of Chicago for the first stop of The Obama Portraits tour.

This program will be livestreamed on YouTube and you will receive the event link when you register. We recommend using a laptop or desktop computer to enjoy this program. You can submit questions for the speakers in advance or during the program using the Google Form below. This event will also be recorded, and the recording will be available on the Art Institute’s YouTube channel soon after the event.

If you have any questions about virtual programming, please reach out to

Closed captioning will be available for this program. For questions related to accessibility accommodations, please email

The Obama Portraits Tour is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. 

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National Sponsor

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The Art Institute thanks the many supporters who have funded the Chicago presentation, as well as access, education, and programming.

Lead Corporate Sponsor for the Chicago Presentation

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Lead Individual Supporters 
Lester Coney and Denise Gardner

Corporate Programming Sponsor

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Leadership support is contributed by Illinois Tool Works and the Leadership Advisory Committee of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Major funding is provided by the Blanchard-Nesbitt Family; Suzette and Ally Bulley; Francesca and Liam Connell; Anne and Don Edwards; Paul, Dedrea, and Ian Gray, In the Works Foundation; Guida Family Foundation; Cheryl and Eric McKissack; and Peggy A. Montes.

Special support is contributed by Julia Langdon Antonatos and Larry Antonatos, Ariel Investments, Caroline Brown and Cairy Saltwell Brown, Ann Collins, Kevann M. Cooke, Marilyn and Larry Fields, Nickol and Darrel Hackett, Mellody Hobson, Linda Johnson Rice, The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, the Langdon Neal Family, Fay and Daniel Levin, and Marisa Murillo.

Additional support is provided by Jozy Altidore, Azeeza, Chanel Coney, Javon Coney, Don and Kristen Crawley, Allison and Susan Davis, Andrea Ellis, Steven Galanis, Kyle and Ashley Gardner, Andre Iguodala, Olivia John, Jasmine Jordan, Deven Rand, Alexa Rice, and Sloane Stephens.


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