Cover art for podcast The White House 1600 Sessions

The White House 1600 Sessions

89 EpisodesProduced by The White House Historical AssociationWebsite

The White House Historical Association presents The 1600 Sessions, a podcast that explores the history, untold stories and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and office – The White House.


71. Obama White House Portraits: The Artists

The White House Historical Association commissions official portraits of the president and first lady. As is the custom, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama picked their portrait artists before leaving office. The artists’ names were kept confidential - until now. The official Obama portraits were unveiled at a White House ceremony hosted by President Joseph Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on September 7, 2022. Association President Stewart McLaurin spoke to the artists Robert McCurdy and Sharon Sprung about the challenges of this unique historical assignment, their approach to creating the portraits, and what it feels like to know your work will hang in one of the greatest galleries in the world, the White House. 


Robert McCurdy painted the official White House portrait of President Barack Obama. 

Sharon Sprung painted the official White House portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama.

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