For the first time in decades, the former and sitting presidents will not meet for the debut of the official artwork.

Breaking with a tradition that goes back more than forty years, President Trump will not welcome his predecessor, Barack Obama, into the East Wing for the grand reveal of his White House portrait. Amid an escalating war of words between the current and former presidents, NBC News reports rthat neither wants to take part in the ritual. Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama will therefore likely not be installed until Trump is out of office.

The White House displays portraits of every president since George Washington. These official artworks are created through a highly specific process: they are commissioned by the White House Historical Association, a privately funded heritage organization, with the artists being selected personally by the former president and first lady. When complete, the Association donates the paintings to the White House, whose curator places them. 

According to NBC, the artists for the Obama portraits were selected in early 2017, though because of a confidentiality agreement, the details remain unknown.
Courtesy of Artnet News
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