Find out why the Smithsonian museum had to move Michelle Obama’s portrait

Smithsonian portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images and Amy Sherald)

Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama is moving on up – to the third floor!

Just five weeks after her stunning portrait debuted at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., the museum has relocated the now iconic painting from the first floor to the third floor to accommodate the droves of people coming to see it.

“We’re always changing things up here. Due to the high volume of visitors, we’ve relocated Michelle Obama’s portrait to the 3rd floor in our 20th-Century American galleries for a more spacious viewing experience,” the National Portrait Gallery tweeted on Tuesday this week.

According to CNN, last Thursday through Sunday alone nearly 45,000 visitors stopped by the gallery. More than 176,000 people visited the gallery last month, including 2-year-old Parker Curry, who made national headlines after seeing the portrait and calling Obama a “queen.”

Parker’s mom, Jessica Curry told TheGrio last month that her daughter was invited to meet with Obama after a photo of her daughter gazing at the portrait quickly spread on social media.

“We feel honored and humbled that this picture of Parker has gone viral and inspired and touched so many people. We also feel honored that Mrs. Obama wanted to reach out and talk to her, spend time with her, and encourage her in the same way that I do,” said Curry. “She told her that she was beautiful, she was smart, and she could be whoever she wanted to be. It was a wonderful experience and one that I am so looking forward to sharing with Parker when she can fully grasp it because right now, she’s just like, ‘Oh I saw the Queen.’”

Since its unveiling at the Smithsonian, the portrait and its artist, Baltimore-based Amy Sherald, have received high praise. Sherald, who often depicts themes around social justice in her work, painted the gray portrait in her signature monochrome style, which she has said takes away the assigned “color” of her subjects.

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