Trump Won’t Unveil Official Portrait of Obama in White House – So Here’s One

by on May 27, 2020 · 1 comment

in American Empire

President Donald Trump will not be unveiling his predecessor Barack Obama’s official White House portrait, a report says. So, taking the cue from others, we are posting one official portrait of Obama (but not the “official White House” one).

NBC first reported that the event to unveil Obama’s official portrait wasn’t currently on the calendar, and may not even occur while Trump is in office, including potentially throughout the duration of a second term if he wins re-election.

This would mean “it could be 2025” before Obama’s portrait unveiling happens, the report states, despite Obama leaving office in 2017.

The tradition of first-term presidents hosting their predecessor dates back decades through many administrations and is supposed to represent a rare moment of harmony and camaraderie in Washington.

Most recently, Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of their official portraits.

Since these news reports surfaced, several portraits of Obama have been circulating on the internet.

Here’s one portrait of Obama also shared on social media as if it were the portrait scheduled to be unveiled at the White House in 2020.

This painting of Obama was done by Kehinde Wiley and was unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018. While this an official portrait of Obama, it is not the official White House portrait that would have been unveiled at the White House ceremony in 2020.

The official White House portraits are commissioned by the White House Historical Association, and are distinct from the portraits hanging in the National Portrait Gallery. Official White House portraits are traditionally unveiled by the president’s successor near the end of their first term, and end up displayed (or stored) at the White House.

NBC News wrote:

It’s been a White House tradition for decades: A first-term president hosts a ceremony in the East Room for the unveiling of the official portrait of his immediate predecessor that will hang in the halls of the White House for posterity. […]

Official White House portraits are separate from the presidential portraits that hang in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, where the Obamas’ were unveiled in February 2018.

The process for the White House portraits begins near the end of a president’s term or soon after, and it takes a few years to complete.

(Hat tip to Kate Bell)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Geoff Page May 27, 2020 at 3:59 pm

The very thought of this orangutan’s portrait – meaning t-rump not Barack Obama – ever hanging in the White House makes me want to hurl. I hope that never happens with all subsequent presidents deciding such an atrocity should never befoul those walls.


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