For the most part, people seem to like the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. That feeling was fully embodied by a small girl caught (in multiple viral social media posts) appreciating artist Amy Sherald’s portrait of the former FLOTUS at its new home at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The girl, two-year old Parker Curry, even caught the attention of Mrs. Obama, who decided that she wanted to meet her. On Tuesday, Parker and Obama met in the former First Lady’s office. “Parker, I’m so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party)! Keep on dreaming big for yourself…and maybe one day I’ll proudly look up at a portrait of you!” Obama wrote while posting a video of them dancing.
The aforementioned dance party (to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”) was also documented and shared on Obama’s Twitter account, with the same caption as her Instagram post. Swift also “liked” the post on Instagram.
Jessica Curry, Parker’s mother, told People that it’s hard to state the importance of seeing Michelle Obama in a portrait like that. “As a female and as a girl of color, it’s really important that I show her people who look like her that are doing amazing things and are making history so that she knows she can do it,” Curry said. Here are a few of the viral photos that started it all.
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Feeling all the feels. 😭 When I look at this picture I think back to my first field trip in elementary school to a museum. I had only seen paintings in encyclopedias up to that point in my life. There was a show up of work by painter @thebobartlett whose work still inspires me to this day. There was a painting of a black man standing in front of a house. I don't remember a lot about my childhood, but I do have a few emotional memories etched into my mind forever and seeing that painting of a man that looked like he could be my father stopped me dead in my tracks. This was my first time seeing real paintings that weren't in a book and also weren't painted in another century. I didn't realize that none of them had me in them until I saw that painting of Bo's. I knew I wanted to be an artist already, but seeing that painting made me realize that I could. What dreams may come? #representationmatters