The National Portrait Gallery unveiled the official portraits of former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. This was no routine unveiling though, it was history being enshrined on canvas. As the New York Times reports:

“The present debut is strikingly different. Not only are the Obamas the first presidential couple claiming African descent to be enshrined in the collection. The painters they’ve picked to portray them — Kehinde Wiley, for Mr. Obama’s portrait; Amy Sherald, for Mrs. Obama — are African-American as well. Both artists have addressed the politics of race consistently in their past work, and both have done so in subtly savvy ways in these new commissions.”

The paintings weren’t exactly traditional, but that was the idea. Both Obamas put a lot of thought into who painted the portraits.

The flowers in Obama’s portrait all have special meaning to the former President.

As for the gray skin in Amy Sherald portrait of Michelle Obama, that has its own meaning as well.

Check out the Obama’s speeches here.