Large crowds expected as Obama portraits arrive at High Museum of Art

ATLANTA — Sandra Warren never thought she’d get emotional over a painting. But it nearly brought her to tears.

“I love them. I’m amazed at the whole experience, and I love them,” Warren said.

She’s talking about the official public portraits of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

After spending 4 years at the Smithsonian in Washington, they now hang in the High Museum of Art in midtown Atlanta.

“I think they are outstanding paintings. It’s hard to tell—frankly—from a JPEG. I know we’re used to looking at JPEGs and digital images on cellphones these days. But there’s a great deal to gain from being here and seeing them in person,” High Museum Curator Michael Rooks said.


Atlanta is the fourth stop of a five-city tour.

Warren told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen that she would have gone all the way to Washington, DC to see them, but she’s proud that they’ve come to her town.

For her it’s all much more than paint on canvas.

“This is a historic moment for me. I just thought I’d never live to see the day that we’d have an African American representing us in this way,” Warren said.

The paintings will be on display at the High Museum through Mar. 20.