1sunfight’s Weblog

January 9, 2009

The US National Portrait Gallery Acquires Shepard Fairey’s Portrait of Barack Obama

The iconic red, white, and blue portrait of US President-elect Barack Obama will become part of the permanent collection at the US National Portrait Gallery.


The Washington DC gallery has acquired the stenciled image by Los Angeles based street artist Shepard Fairey.

Curators at the Smithsonian Institute museum plan to hang it by Inauguration Day on January 20th.

The gallery usually acquires official portraits of presidents as they leave office.

The image – later modified with the messages of Change and Vote – became one of the most memorable images from the 2008 election.

“What I think is so fascinating is the ubiquitous nature,” said Carolyn Carr, deputy director of the Portrait Gallery.

“When people think of Obama, they think of this image.”


This is truly an honor for artist Shepard Fairey to have his work hung in the Smithsonian Institute’s US National Gallery and a testament to the historic 2002 election year where history was made, with the election of Barack Obama. But, history for this election did not end with this portrait and Barack Obama’s win; it is an exception honor to have this portrait before Barack Obama is even sworn into office.


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