Princeton University Press snaps up The Obama Portraits

Princeton University Press snaps up The Obama Portraits

Princeton University Press (PUP) will publish The Obama Portraits, in association with the National Portrait Gallery, Washington. 

Michelle Komie, publisher of art and architecture at PUP, acquired world rights to the book, which is slated for publication in February 2020, two years after the unveiling of the paintings President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley and First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald.

"The Obama Portraits will be the first examination of the inception, evolution, and impact of these remarkable paintings," said PUP. "The book will include a selection of powerful images, including behind-the-scenes photography by Pete Souza, the official photographer for the Obamas; and a transcript of remarks given by the Obamas and others at the historic unveiling. Essays by Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery; Portrait Gallery curators Taína Caragol and Dorothy Moss; and art historian Richard Powell will explore themes of power, empathy, democracy, pilgrimage, and race." 

Komie added: “These paintings have resonated like few other artworks in history. We are enormously grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the National Portrait Gallery on a book that is so vibrant, so vital, and which carries such tremendous potential to engage readers within the arts and well beyond.” 

The National Portrait Gallery is home to official portraits of every US president and, since the late twentieth century, of First Ladies as well. The museum has worked with Princeton University Press on several recent projects, including catalogues for the exhibitions Black Out and Votes for Women.