Here's Why Michelle Obama's Portrait In The Smithsonian Has To Be Moved

If you want to see it, you're not alone.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama's first official portrait was just unveiled last month at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and it's already been moved — for a very good reason. 

As the National Portrait Gallery tweeted earlier this month, "Due to the high volume of visitors, we've relocated Michelle Obama's portrait to the 3rd floor in our 20th-Century Americans galleries for a more spacious viewing experience."

Just how popular has Mrs. Obama's portrait been since it's unveiling? CNN reports that, according to Smithsonian Institute data, February was the gallery's biggest month in three years, with 176,700 people visiting. Last weekend alone (from Thursday through Sunday) saw nearly 45,000 visitors.

The in-demand painting is the work of artist Amy Sherald. She and Kehinde Wiley, who completed former President Barack Obama's portrait, are the first Black artists commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery for official presidential portraits.

One Smithsonian visitor who was especially captivated by Mrs. Obama's likeness is a young girl named Parker Curry, who was photographed staring at the painting in an image that has since gone viral as a symbol of the power of representation. The former First Lady later met with Parker and shared a sweet photo and video on social media.

As Mrs. Obama wrote on Instagram when the portrait was unveiled, "This is all a little bit overwhelming, especially when I think about all of the young people who will visit the National Portrait Gallery and see this, including so many young girls and young girls of color who don't often see their images displayed in beautiful and iconic ways."

We're glad to hear they will now have even more room to appreciate it.


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