Skip to main content

Main Area


Every US president's and first lady's official portraits

  • President: George W. Bush

    - Years active: 2001–2009

    An accomplished painter in his own right, President George W. Bush’s official portrait was completed by John Howard Sanden in 2011. Sanden, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Portrait Artists in 1994, was the longtime art director for the Reverend Billy Graham before he moved into portraiture. The painting was unveiled in May 2012 with Bush's father, former president George H.W. Bush, in attendance.

  • First Lady: Laura Bush

    - Years active: 2001–2009

    John Howard Sanden also painted First Lady Laura Bush’s official portrait, which shows her standing in the White House’s Green Room, which she helped refurbish. Sanden has written six books about portraiture, and has painted African kings, former Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, as well as his former employer, Reverend Billy Graham, among others.

  • President: Barack Obama

    - Years active: 2009–2017

    President Barack Obama’s official White House portrait—painted by Kehinde Wiley, a Black artist known for his meticulously designed depictions of Black subjects with historical themes or cultural references—hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery but has yet to be unveiled in what had been a four-decade long tradition of ceremonies. A Pete Souza photograph of Obama in the Oval Office currently stands in its place. President Donald Trump’s administration postponed the ceremony indefinitely in May 2020.

  • First Lady: Michelle Obama

    - Years active: 2009–2017

    Similarly to her presidential husband, First Lady Michelle Obama’s official White House portrait has yet to be officially unveiled in the White House. A photograph by Chuck Kennedy currently stands in its place. The Obamas announced in May 2020 they would not return to the White House for an unveiling until President Donald Trump has left office. Artist Amy Sherald completed the First Lady’s portrait for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery; the painting shows the former first lady donning a dress under Michelle Smith’s label (complete with a quilted pattern on the skirt that functions as a nod to the African-American design of the Gee's Bend Community in Alabama) with Obama's hand resting pensively under her chin.

  • President: Donald J. Trump

    - Years active: 2017–present

    Shealah Craighead took the photograph that currently stands as President Donald J. Trump’s official White House portrait. An official painting won’t be revealed until the next administration, with the Government Publishing Office releasing the official photo in October 2017. A painting of Trump by Chas Fagan is on loan to the White House Historical Association.

    You may also like: 50 famous White House visits

  • First Lady: Melania Trump

    - Years active: 2017–present

    Former model and current First Lady Melania Trump’s official portrait has yet to be revealed, with her official first lady photo standing in its place. Melania Trump, who was born in Slovenia, is the first first lady born outside the United States since Louisa Catherine Adams, wife to sixth president John Quincy Adams.

    You may also like: Major crises during every U.S. presidency

2018 All rights reserved.