Barack & Michelle Obama are back in the White House!
The first African-American President and the former First Lady returned to their former residence on Wednesday, September 7. The iconic pair attended the unveiling ceremony of their official White House portraits, a historical moment that warmed the hearts of thousands.
Barack & Michelle Obama Return to The White House Five Years After Moving Out
As shared by PEOPLE, President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, welcomed their friends back to their former house to present their official portraits. The ceremony took place at the property’s East Room. Although the Obamas moved out of the Presidential residence in 2017, their presence will permanently reside on the mansion’s walls in places selected by White House curators.
The artists Robert McCurdy and Sharon Sprung had the honor of painting the dynamic political duo. The White House Historical Association presented their stunning portraits to the couple at the unveiling ceremony. Barack’s artwork captured the former president at his finest, looking dapper in a black suit, gray shirt, and matching gray tie. The 61-year-old completed the formal look with an American flag pin.
The portrait featured a stark white background that ensured viewers focused only on the Honolulu native, who looked alive in the hyper-realistic painting. The father-of-two praised McCurdy’s talents after the unveiling. According to the former POTUS, he admired the painter’s work because the man always painted people precisely how they looked without alternations. Despite Barack’s request for a few touches, McCurdy stood by his principles.
The Affordable Care Act pioneer told the audience, “You’ll note that he refused to hide any of my gray hairs, refused my request to make my ears smaller. He also talked me out of wearing a tan suit.” Meanwhile, Michelle’s portrait featured bright colors made from the handmade paints Sprung typically used. Like her husband’s painting, the former first lady’s artwork was created using reference photos taken inside the White House.
Today, Barack and I went back to the White House to unveil our official portraits. It was so exciting to share Sharon Sprung and Robert McCurdy's incredible artistry with the world—and to be back in the place we called home for eight years. pic.twitter.com/YF98lihqgy
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) September 8, 2022
For the Grammy winner’s portrait, the mother-of-two was painted seated on a couch in the Red Room. The 58-year-old stunned in a blue dress designed with an off-the-shoulder sleeve and cinched bodice. Once again, Barack paid tribute to the artist for portraying everything he admired about his wife in her painting. The former Illinois state senator said:
“I want to thank Sharon Sprung for capturing everything I love about Michelle. Her grace, her intelligence — and the fact that she’s fine.”
The politician’s words were not far from the truth, as his wife could be described as a woman with beauty, brains, and unfathomable grace. As a proud African-American, the renowned attorney honored her Black roots at the portrait ceremony by wearing her hair in braids. The interwoven tresses were styled into a low bun with a side parting.
The Chicago native rocked this chic look with a gorgeous ankle-length Ombré dress designed with pink and red hues. The outfit featured a sheer bodice with an underneath sweetheart neckline, cinched waist, and a flowy, pleated bottom half. On the other hand, Barack kept things simple with a fitted suit, a blue and white striped shirt, plus a navy blue tie.
Twitter Fans Positively React To The Obamas Portrait Ceremony
It made me miss my mom. pic.twitter.com/zPmLWTpeWb
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) September 8, 2022
On Thursday, September 8, Michelle updated her Twitter account with pictures from the unveiling ceremony alongside a sweet message about the event. The 58-year-old democrat revealed that she had a fantastic time showcasing Sprung and McCurdy’s “incredible artistry” to the world. But, the height of her day was returning to the place she called “home for eight years.”
Touched by the former first lady’s post, fans and renowned public figures took to their Twitter pages to shower praises upon the Obamas, especially Michelle’s fashion choice. Eugene Daniels, a playbook author, and White House correspondent, noted that the Chicago native’s braids would impress Black communities in the US.
Fellow political commentator Joy-Ann Reid shared similar sentiments. “The ReidOut” host expressed her profound love for Michelle’s hair and eyelashes.
German-born author Sophia A. Nelson also praised the politician’s hairstyle, while political strategist Ana Navarro reminisced about her late mother because of the Obama’s picture. The photo captured Michelle holding her mother’s hand at the portrait ceremony while her adoring husband stared lovingly at the pair.