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Obama Portraits Tour School Visits

Side by side official portraits of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.
Barack Obama sits in a wooden chair in front of an encroaching wall of greenery and flowers.
Michelle Obama's official portrait by Amy Sherald depicts her in a white gown with colored patches reminiscent of quilting patterns.

 

Please Note: The Obama Portraits School Lottery has closed.

The Obama Portraits Tour exhibition features two acclaimed portraits: Kehinde Wiley’s painting of President Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama. A celebration of historic measure, the portraits feature history-making subjects who were painted by groundbreaking artists. Wiley and Sherald are the first African American artists to be commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to create official portraits of a president or first lady. Wiley placed a seated President Obama against a backdrop of flowers with special significance, including chrysanthemums, the official flower of Chicago. Sherald captured the former first lady against a light-blue background, sitting and gazing directly at the viewer. The exhibition provides visitors with the opportunity to examine both portraits up close, especially those who may not have a chance to see them in Washington, DC.

Due to high demand for this exhibition, the High Museum of Art is unable to accommodate group bookings, with the exception of a limited number of spaces available for K–12 school visits on select dates, which will be allocated in limited increments via lottery.

The Obama Portraits Tour exhibition includes the two portraits plus supplemental material on the artists and their artistic process. The guided tour will include additional works of art throughout the Museum related to The Obama Portraits Tour. Students will have the opportunity to see Birds In The Air by Lucy T. Pettway—an artist who was part of the Gee’s Bend quilters, whom Amy Sherald cited as inspiration for her work—as well as Kehinde Wiley’s portrait Thiogo Oliveira do Rosario Rozendo from the The World Stage: Brazil series. Students will spend approximately fifteen to twenty minutes in The Obama Portraits Tour exhibition; the entire guided experience, including the two portraits, will last approximately one hour, depending on group arrival time.

  • High Museum of Art The Obama Portraits Tour School Visits Lottery—Terms and Conditions

    Please Note: The Obama Portraits School Lottery has closed.

    1. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter The Obama Portraits Tour lottery. Teachers who are chosen in the lottery process will be required to purchase the exhibition tickets they are assigned. A 50% deposit must be made two weeks before your scheduled visit. Payment by check, money order, or credit card is due in full on the day of your visit.

    2. To be eligible to apply, you must be a K–12 classroom teacher who will be visiting the High Museum with your class as part of a field trip. One lottery entry is allowed per teacher. If it is determined that a teacher has entered the lottery more than once, the High Museum reserves the right to exclude that teacher from the lottery.

    3. The lottery will open to teachers on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, and the deadline to submit entries will be 5 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. After this date, no further entries will be considered.

    4. The High Museum’s Education department will randomly draw from among all eligible entries received before the deadline. There are twenty total days available for students to visit The Obama Portraits Tour. The odds of being selected will depend on the total number of eligible entries received.

    5. Teachers selected through the lottery will receive access for up to a total of 135 student tickets, depending on availability, as well as one complimentary chaperone ticket for every 10 student tickets. The total number of tickets available to purchase includes 135 student tickets and 14 chaperone or teacher tickets. Note: School field trip tickets are $9 per ticket. One chaperone for every 10 students is required.

    6. Tickets for the required number of adult chaperones will be complimentary.

    7. Teachers selected through the lottery will have the opportunity to indicate three preferred visit dates and two preferred visit times on the entry form. We cannot guarantee that preferred dates or times will be available.

    8. Teachers selected through the lottery will be notified by email by Friday, December 17, 2021. This email will include information about deposit requirements.

    9. If selected teachers have not submitted a deposit to secure their visit by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, January 7, 2022, the High Museum reserves the right to release the tickets.

    10. The selected teachers’ opportunity to buy tickets is not transferable to others.

    11. The High Museum of Art is not responsible for inaccurate contact information that is submitted by any entrant.

    12. By submitting a lottery application, the teacher indicates agreement to these terms and conditions.

    13. Please note: The Obama Portraits Tour exhibition will not be offered through the Art Access program.

    Thank you for your interest in booking a school visit to The Obama Portraits Tour!

    This page includes information specific to K–12 school visits. For more information about The Obama Portraits Tour, please see our main Obama Portraits exhibition page.

  • Why are so few spots available for school visits?

    The Obama Portraits Tour is an exciting exhibition that has sold out at many previous venues. Due to high demand, the High Museum of Art is unable to accommodate group bookings, with the exception of a limited number of spaces available for K–12 school visits, to be allocated via lottery.

    How do I apply for the school visits lottery?

    Applications for the school visits lottery will be accepted via an online booking form, which will be available from December 1 through December 15, 2021.

    Successful applicants will receive a confirmation email on Friday, December 17, 2021. Please do not book your transportation until your visit date and time have been confirmed.

    On which days are school visits available?

    The High Museum is pleased to offer twenty mornings for K–12 school visits to The Obama Portraits Tour:

    • Tuesday, February 1, 2022
    • Wednesday, February 2, 2022
    • Thursday, February 3, 2022
    • Friday, February 4, 2022
    • Tuesday, February 8, 2022
    • Wednesday, February 9, 2022
    • Thursday, February 10, 2022
    • Friday, February 11, 2022
    • Tuesday, February 15, 2022
    • Wednesday, February 16, 2022
    • Thursday, February 17, 2022
    • Friday, February 18, 2022
    • Tuesday, February 22, 2022
    • Wednesday, February 23, 2022
    • Thursday, February 24, 2022
    • Friday, February 25, 2022
    • Tuesday, March 1, 2022
    • Wednesday, March 2, 2022
    • Thursday, March 3, 2022
    • Friday, March 4, 2022

    What time can I visit with my students?

    Tickets for The Obama Portraits Tour are timed to ensure the best possible experience. School groups will be scheduled during one of the following time slots: 10 a.m. or 11 a.m.

    How long should I expect to spend in the exhibition with my group?

    Plan on spending one hour for the entire guided experience, which includes the two portraits plus supplemental works of art located throughout the Museum.

    Will there be a teacher resource guide to help plan our group visit to The Obama Portraits Tour?

    Our teacher resource guide for The Obama Portraits Tour will be available on the School Groups and Educators section of the High’s website in January.

    What is the cost per student to visit The Obama Portraits Tour?

    The cost per student is $9. This includes general admission to the High. There is no charge for the required number of adult chaperones. One chaperone is required for every ten students. No additional chaperones are allowed.

    Which grade level(s) do you recommend this exhibition for?

    This exhibition is recommended for K–12 students.

    Are guided tours and/or interactive art-making workshops available?

    Guided tours are required for this exhibition. No interactive art-making workshops are available.

    How many students can I bring?

    Due to high demand, we must limit each teacher to no more than one group of up to 135 students and 14 chaperones or teachers total.

    What is your chaperone policy?

    Students visiting the exhibition must be accompanied by a chaperone at all times. One chaperone is required for every ten students.

    Groups must arrive with the required number of chaperones. Classes that arrive without the required number of chaperones may be denied entry to the exhibition.

    There is no admission fee for the required number of chaperones.

    Due to the limited number of tickets available for school visits, additional chaperones will not be admitted.

    I have been selected! How do I confirm my booking?

    If your class is selected, we will require a nonrefundable 50% deposit for your scheduled visit by Friday, January 7, 2022. If payment has not been received by the deposit deadline, your booking will be released. The final 50% of your total ticket costs will be due two weeks before the day of your field trip.

    Will I be notified if I do not get selected for a school visit?

    All teachers who have submitted an application for the lottery will be notified by January 14, 2022, whether or not they have been selected for a school visit.

    I am an instructor at a college or university—am I eligible for the lottery?

    Due to high demand, group bookings for The Obama Portraits Tour are available for K–12 school groups only. Please see our exhibition page for more information about booking single tickets.

    What are the dates I need to know?

    Wednesday, December 1, 2021
    Application period for school visits begins

    Wednesday, December 15, 2021
    Application period for school visits ends

    Friday, December 17, 2021
    Selected applicants are notified

    Friday, January 7, 2022
    Deposit deadline for selected applicants

    Friday, January 14, 2022
    All applicants are notified

    Tuesday, February 1, 2022
    First day of school visits

    For more information about The Obama Portraits Tour, please see our main exhibition page.