The red and blue stencilled portrait of President Elect Obama by street artist Shepard Fairey, which became the central image of the election campaign, has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC for its collection. It is the first portrait of the new president to enter the national collection, part of the Smithsonian Institute.
The original work was given to the museum by the Washington-based lobbyists and collectors Heather and Tony Podesta, whose brother John is the co-chairman of Obama’s administration transition team. It was given in memory of Mr Podesta’s late mother, who was a supporter of Obama since his 2004 campaign to win a Senate seat.
“This work is an emblem of a significant election, as well as a new presidency,” said Martin Sullivan, director of the National Portrait Gallery in a press statement. A spokeswoman for the National Portrait Gallery says the work will be on view in the museum’s first floor gallery in time for Obama’s inauguration on 20 January.