Wednesday ceremony in The East Room marks a rare occasion for a celebration among the two presidential offices at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where President Joe Biden and first Lady Jill Biden is expected to convene who who of administration officials past and present from unique viewpoint of having served in both.
It was in in the same room, Obama awarded Biden an unexpected presidential medal of freedom in 2017, a tearful ceremony, reflecting the two men’s deep mutual respect. While both like to play up their relationship in public There are limits to their friendship, officials say.
Stuart McLaurin, President of The White House Historical Association told CNN that the Covid-19 pandemic played a role. in time of opening. WHHA, a non-profit organization that promotes and funds creation of portraits.
“Covid has affected us two-and-a-half years ago and I think it’s important for these (portraits) must be revealed at the time when public It has access to the White House and they can be seen,” McLaurin said.
Not yet hard-as well as-fast rule for when the White House portrait is to be unveiled, ceremonies are often hosted on former immediate successor to the president. And when in officePresident Donald Trump has never hosted a ceremony for Obama portraits.
What will Obama’s portraits look like? like?
Details of the exhibited works on The medium is holding tight secret, with artists and art movers sign confidentiality agreements to keep things secret until big day. But Obama often used art as a tool for expressing one’s tastes, therefore should not surprisingly, the same is expected of their portraits in the White House.
“There will be several of evolution in these portraits over time… and I think it’s going to be really exciting,” McLaurin said. in a preview of upcoming portraits of Obama. “I think it will be somewhat of magical moment. I think it will be an evolution of art.”
He continued: “Now we in direction to first third of 21st century. And I think in mind’s eye of most Americans, we see presidential portraits as these most traditional19th-century- portraits of views and feelings. But art and taste in art develops and changes.”
Living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Obamas decided to highlight a few modern and contemporary artists.
amy Sherald, who painted first Smithsonian portrait of a lady challenges agreements on race depicting the skin of her figures in shades of grey. Kehinde Wiley, who painted former President, rethinks old master paintings with Black items.
Traditionally two latest sets of presidential portraits posted in Cross Hall of White House, although Trump decided move portraits of Bush and Clinton in the closet after the feud with both families.
Biden moved Bush portraits and Clinton portraits back to the Cross Hall, but with a new Obama portrait, Clinton may need to be moved soon.
Ceremony Wednesday at the White House
Obama’s return to the White House marks a rare moment for in current as well as past administration to come and see back on presidential legacy.
Unlike the 2012 presentation, on Wednesday event will basically receive visitors from the same party — with some participants have ties to both administrations.
Obama will joined by familyfriends, former Cabinet ministers and senior administration officials during the opening.
Marian Robinson, mother of Michelle Obama who lived in the White House residence during their presidencies, plans to attend the ceremony, an Obama aide told CNN, but daughters Malia and Sasha are not scheduled. join them parents.
Other Expected Members Include Obama former main of staff (and current US Ambassador to Japan) Rahm Emanuel, former senior adviser David Axelrod, former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Timothy Geithner, former Minister of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Education Minister Arne Duncan, former director of US office of Management and Budget Sean Donovan and former White House Press secretary Josh Ernest.
Biden and Obama forged a close relationship while serving in office together, but their friendship has its limits. Though they talk from time to time, they don’t in daily or weekly contact, people habitual with the matter was said.
Two terms working in A shadow of Obama, Biden differed from his predecessor at times. Officials said they have also degree of competition between two men.
Their history so far one of partnership, has also was painted various neglect, real or perceived that he was still delaying.
Obama declined support Biden over other Democrats in primaries 2020, step both men insisted that it was necessary allow a true competition within party. Four years ago, Obama considered Hillary Clinton his successor from the Democratic Party. instead of Biden, who decided not run how did he get it with his sonx death.
White House Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the opening would be a permanent symbol of ” power of hope and change” in White House.
Jean-Pierre highlighted the close relationship between the two presidents, saying: “During of their eight years together in office a close partnership between the two men grew up through ups and downs of work and of life.”
Trump portraits up next
White House Historical Association in “initial stages” of portrait processes for former President Trump and former first Lady Melania Trump, McLaurin said.
“There is a focus on specific artists who are most likely to make their portraits,” MacLaurin. added.
Source familiar with Situation told CNN that the chatter about portraits has begun in in last six months in Mar-a-Lago – Trump’s residence in Florida – and that former the president recently sat for Photo. However, this is not clear did trump pose for White House portrait painter or for specially photographs for portraits.
Tuesday Jean-Pierre declined say if Biden will extend an invitation to Trump should his portrait would be completed under the Biden administration.
Trump’s Political Action Committee donated $650,000 to the Smithsonian. in from July to help sign portraits of Trumps, according to Linda St. Thomas, chief spokesperson for Smithsonian Institution.
Trump leadership’s Save America PAC donation marks first the time of receipt of funds from the political action committee since the institution began to collect private funds for presidential portraits – practice what started with portraits associated with former President George W. Bush, said St. Thomas.
St. Thomas said something else private donation of $100,000 also helps pay the costs associated with portraits. Funds of $750,000 will go toward artist fees, shipping, framing, installation and events.
CNN’s Fredreka Schouten, Gabby Orr, Betsy Klein, and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.