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Barack and Michelle Obama will return to the White House next week to unveil their official portraits.
More than a decade ago, the Obamas welcomed George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, back for the unveiling of their White House portraits as part of a longstanding tradition. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will host the Obamas for the grand reveal.
“On September 7, the President and Dr. Biden will host President and Mrs. Obama for the unveiling ceremony for their official White House portraits and that will be very exciting,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed at a press briefing.
Former president Donald Trump did not honor the longstanding custom during his brief term.
“More important than the time that it took to create the portraits is the time that the portraits will be shared with the American public for generations to come,” Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, told PEOPLE. “That is really the significance of these portraits, not to be rushed, but to be special and perfect for that president and first lady.”
Despite Trump not partaking in the tradition, McLaurin says his portraits are being worked, and he will likely be invited back for an unveiling.
“We don’t put a timeframe on it. We don’t call the artist and say, ‘How’s it going? How are you doing? When are you going to have it done?'” McLaurin added. “It just is an organic process that has to take its course. And then when everything’s ready and everything’s done, the moment is right.”