Presented by the White House Historical Association
Obama White House Portraits: The Artists
- Stewart McLaurin
- Robert McCurdy, Painted the Official White House Portrait of President Barack Obama; Sharon Sprung, Painted the Official White House Portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama
- 42 minutes
The White House Historical Association commissions official portraits of the president and first lady. As is the custom, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama picked their portrait artists before leaving office. The artists’ names were kept confidential - until now. The official Obama portraits were unveiled at a White House ceremony hosted by President Joseph Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on September 7, 2022. Association President Stewart McLaurin spoke to the artists Robert McCurdy and Sharon Sprung about the challenges of this unique historical assignment, their approach to creating the portraits, and what it feels like to know your work will hang in one of the greatest galleries in the world, the White House.
Robert McCurdy painted the official White House portrait of President Barack Obama.
Sharon Sprung painted the official White House portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama.
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President of the White House Historical Association
As President of the White House Historical Association Stewart McLaurin leads the nonpartisan, nonprofit in its mission to preserve, protect, and provide access to White House history. As a lifelong student of history, Stewart is an avid reader and storyteller. His first book, White House Miscellany was published this past year and he authors a quarterly column in the White House History Journal. Drawing on his own experiences, relationships, and knowledge he provides listeners with a front row seat to history at the White House.