Oklahoma City museum acquires painting by Obama portraitist

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has acquired a painting by the artist who created President Barack Obama’s official portrait.

Kehinde Wiley’s painting titled “Jacob de Graeff” features a contemporary person in a style modeled on 17th century Dutch artist Gerard ter Borch’s portrait of Jacob de Graeff, a Dutch regent.

Museum president and CEO E. Michael Whittington says the museum wanted to acquire a Wiley painting after sponsoring an exhibition of his works in 2017. Wiley relied on his colorful, whimsical style to make his portrait of Obama a celebrated departure from previous presidential portraits.

Former US President Barack Obama unveils his portrait alongside the portrait’s artist, Kehinde Wiley, at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION – TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The museum also has acquired a still-life painting by 17th century Flemish master Jan van Kessel the Elder. It is representative of his meticulous style and preference for copper surface.

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