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Visitors stand facing Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama, their backs to the viewer. Color photograph, taken from above, of a dark-skinned man lying on a bed with a yellow floral fitted sheet on it, his torso, head, and right arm visible. He wears no clothes and his arm is draped around his face, his palm upturned. Drawing in soft pastel tones of a geological formation that arcs over a grove of trees. The rocks of the formation are rendered in pale green, a tan cliff at left. The trees are drawn simply, like teardrops. A salmon-pink sunset, blue sky above, reflects off the curved rocks. Cursive text at upper left reads, “Rain Bow Bridge in Bryce Canyon National Park near Henriville Utah by Joseph E. Yoakum.”

Dive into The Obama Portraits, hear from Mimi Cherono Ng’ok how her love of plants informs her practice, and discover the lucky friendship that secured the legacy of Joseph E. Yoakum.

Summer 2021

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