Biden’s new gig: unveiling White House portrait of Barack Obama

After former President Donald Trump declined to participate in the unveiling of Barack Obama’s White House portrait during his time in office, Biden is taking on the mantle of doing so, the Associated Press reported. 

It has been a White House tradition for each president to host the unveiling of the portrait of his predecessor, but Trump did not do so for Obama, and it is unlikely that Biden will do so for Trump.

It is not known whether any portraits of Trump and his first lady Melania are in the process of being commissioned or created.

The process can take some time, as evidenced by the fact that the Obamas haven’t been in the White House for over five years now.

Reflecting Black heritage

It will be Barack Obama’s second visit to the White House since leaving office, and Michelle Obama’s first.

Barack Obama first returned to the White House in April to celebrate the 12th anniversary of signing Obamacare.

The portraits of the Obamas will be quite different from all the other presidential portraits in the White House collection; they will reflect the Black heritage of the ones they depict.

Barack Obama was the first and only Black president the U.S. has had so far.

Longstanding tradition

There have been portraits made of all the U.S. presidents, starting with George Washington. Congress bought his portrait, and many have been gifts, but most of the last 70 years’ portraits have been bought by the White House Historical Association.

The former president and first lady get to choose the artist who creates the portraits and give input as to how they will be portrayed.

“It really involves how that president and first lady see themselves,” association president  Stewart McLaurin said.

Not all of the portraits are on display at all times, but the ones that are displayed are kept in public areas of the building so that people can see them.