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White House unveils official portraits of the Obamas

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama returned to the White House on Wednesday for the unveiling of their long-awaited official portraits, which are not to be confused with those of the Smithsonian Museum from 2018, The New York Times reports.

The cheery ceremony marked a certain return to form for the White House, which did not schedule the event under former President Donald Trump. It is customary for a sitting president to unveil their predecessor's portrait once it is ready, the Times notes.

But President Biden has now taken up the charge, and appeared all too excited to welcome the Obamas back to Pennsylvania Ave, writes The Washington Post. "Barack and Michelle, welcome home," the president said during his brief remarks, after which the portraits, painted by Robert McCurdy and Sharon Sprung, were uncovered.

Obama then took a moment to address the crowd that had gathered in the White House's East Room, many of whom used to work in his administration, per the Post. He also thanked Sprung "for capturing everything I love about Michelle," and McCurdy for "taking on a much more difficult subject, and doing a fantastic job with mine."

"When future generations walk these halls and look up at these portraits, I hope they get a better, honest sense of who Michelle and I were," Obama continued. "And I hope they lead with a deeper understanding that if we could make it here, maybe they can do remarkable things, too."