The museum's newest exhibition features presidential portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama. The portraits were created by the first Black artists to be commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint presidential portraits– Kehinde Wiley and Georgia native Amy Sherald.
"President Obama was drawn to Kehinde Wiley's work because of Wiley's practice of uplifting everyday people and challenging the notions of power and privilege, which is something that aligned with the president's own views and his social initiatives," High Museum of Art curator Michael Rooks said.
Rooks added that Michelle Obama was drawn to Amy Sherald's work because Sherald's work aligned with her own passionate interest in lifting up the lives of young women and young women of color.
The exhibition was first unveiled in February 2018 at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
"We're honored to be one of only five venues in the United States to present these artworks, which serve as important and quite simply striking, and magnificent records of a historic period in our nation's history, " Rand Suffolk, the junior director of the High Museum of Art said.
Rooks said the exhibition weaves together multiple narratives. Inside the exhibit, there is also a documentary that provides more insight into the portraits and a closer look at the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama.
"People are excited to see these paintings," Rooks said. "They are excited to see them because this story is hardwired in them. This story of the exceptional American promise of opportunity."
People are able to see the portraits starting Friday, Jan. 14 through Sunday, March 20.