Soon, Beyoncé will grace the walls of America’s National Portrait Gallery, not far from the popular portraits of her friends and admirers, former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.
An historic photo portrait of Beyonce, 37, shot by photographer Tyler Mitchell for the cover of the Vogue September 2018 issue, is expected to become part of the gallery collection this year.
It’s historic because Mitchell, 24, was the first African-American photographer to shoot a Vogue cover image.
Mitchell posted the news on his Instagram Tuesday.
“A year ago today we broke the flood gates open. Since then it was important to spend the whole year running through them making sure every piece of the gate was knocked down. And now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection,” he captioned the shot.
The National Portrait Gallery was thrilled and tweeted its delight.
“We’re just so crazy in love with her that we had to do it! We look forward to adding this new work to our collection,” read the tweet.
“We are delighted to acquire this magnificent portrait of Beyoncé,” said Leslie Ureña, associate curator of photographs for the gallery, in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.
The art gallery, which is one of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, tells the story of the United States through its collection of 23,000 portrait pictures, paintings and sculptures of America’s most famous and important personages, from presidents to pop stars, from the nation’s founding to contemporary times.
As is tradition, portraits of presidents and first ladies usually are added after they leave office. The Obama portraits entered the collection last year and immediately were a huge hit with tourists and locals.
“Where are the Obamas?” ask visitors to the museum in Washington’s Gallery Place district. The museum docents send them to the second-floor America’s Presidents gallery, where hordes of people crowd around the striking portraits, snapping pictures and taking selfies.
A few weeks after the portraits were unveiled, an endearing snap of a 2-year-old girl named Parker Curry transfixed by the former first lady’s painting went viral and melted hearts across the Internet.
Now Queen Bey may inspire the same reaction among star-struck youngsters.
And as it was for the painters of the Obama portraits – Kehinde Wiley for him, Amy Sherald for her – it’s likely to be a major boost for Mitchell’s career and reputation as well.
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