Why Barack and Michelle Obama return to the White House

By Satyajit 08/09/2022

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama returned to the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits.  

This is Barack and Michelle Obama’s  first joint visit to the iconic building since they left in 2017 and the return of a Washington tradition last celebrated in 2012. 

The ceremony to unveil their portraits was hosted by present President Joe Biden and attended by First Lady Dr Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris among others. 

Biden during the ceremony called Obama and Michelle very close the hearts of the American people. 

The portraits were acquired and commissioned by the White House Historical Association a tradition the association has undertaken since 1965. 

Artist Robert McCurdy, who painted President Obama’s portrait, and artist Sharon Sprung painted Mrs Obama’s portrait. 

On the occasion, Obama said their portraits have a special significance, because they will hang alongside portraits of other Presidents and first ladies dating back to George and Martha. 

Obama said, I want to thank Robert McCurdy for his extraordinary work on my portrait. Robert is known for his paintings of public figures, and I love how he paints people exactly the way they are. 

In the Portrait, Obama, dressed in a black suit with a grey tie, stands prominently at the centre of the canvas. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama wears a formal blue dress and is seated on a sofa in the Red Room. 

The Obamas’ return to the White House  and look back on a presidential legacy in the same room where President Obama awarded then-Vice President Biden a surprise Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2017.

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