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Virtual Conversation: Michelle Obama and Amy Sherald



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  • Free, registration required

A painting of First Lady Michelle Obama sitting wearing a striking graphic evening gown against a pale blue backdrop.

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, 2018

Amy Sherald. Oil on linen. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The National Portrait Gallery is grateful to the generous donors who made this commission possible and proudly recognizes them at Support for the national tour has been generously provided by Bank of America

Former First Lady Michelle Obama joins artist Amy Sherald for a powerful conversation on the significance of The Obama Portraits tour opening in Chicago, the importance of representation in the arts, the process of creating the portrait of Mrs. Obama, and the impact of the portrait today. Their conversation will be moderated by Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem.

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.

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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